Don’t Look Back (Part 2).

 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.  Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:31-33

We must value our relationship with Jesus more than anything or anyone else in this world. We must fight for our salvation and protect it. Offenses will come. We must overcome offense with love. Persecution, hatred, trials and tribulation will come. But be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world. We can overcome too–through Jesus Christ.

  • Jude 1:3 – Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

There is nothing in the world that is better than what God has for us.

  • 2 Peter 2:20-22 New King James Version20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

We must keep the faith. So how do we do it?

FIRST: We must have a made up mind.

  • Matthew 6:24 New King James Version –  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

We can’t serve God and money. We can’t be double-minded. You’re either saved or you are not. You are either going to heaven or hell. You are either with Jesus or not. Expect the enemy to do anything to tempt you away from the faith. So expect to keep fighting for your faith until you die or Jesus comes to gather His church

SECOND: We must fight. You might take a hit, but keep on fighting. We are fighting for our very souls. The stakes are high–everlasting life with God in Heaven or everlasting separation from God and torment in the lake of fire forever.

  • 2 Timothy 4:7 New King James Version – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Bible study is good, but it is not good enough. Knowing scripture is good and quoting it is good, but it is not good enough. We need the power of the Holy Ghost.

  •  John 16:7 New King James Version – Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
  • Romans 8:13-14 New King James Version – For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 

Consider the Apostle Paul who suffered greatly for his faith in Christ and willingness to preach the gospel.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:23-33 New King James Version23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 

But we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. We are not defeated Christians. We are victorious Christians. Refuse to stay down. Get up in Christ and fight the good fight of faith.

Get rid of the blinders to your faith.

The enemy uses blinders to keep people from the kingdom of God and from growing in God. The enemy doesn’t want to see anyone get born again or gain ground so he preys on the weak. The enemy uses fear. Fear of people, fear of failure, fear of new things. Some people won’t try anything new because they believe they will fail–so they never try it.

But, the one fear we want to have is–the fear of God. When we fear God we can’t just sin without conviction. When we fear God, we will obey God.

  • Hebrews 11:24-27 New King James Version – 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
  • Hebrews 11:7 New King James Version By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

When God tell us to do something, we don’t have a right to put it off. Who are we to delay when God speaks? We must obey right away. God’s will must be done.

  • Luke 18:1 New King James Version – Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 

God does not want us to fear people. We should never get to a place where we are afraid to identify with Jesus. It is better to have Jesus than the applause of man. We always need Jesus.

  • Proverbs 9:10 New King James Version – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

What have you learned about God from your getting to know God? Some have learned that God is willing to listen at all times. Others realize that God’s love is far past what we can imagine. He loves us so much. No matter what we have done or said, He loves us and will forgive us.

When we fear God, we will obey Him. Consider Abraham. God called Abraham His friend. Abraham had a track record of obeying God by faith because of his reverent fear of the Lord.

  • James 2:23 New King James Version – And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

God knows we have a heart for Him when we obey Him. Words are not enough. Our words must be backed by action.

  • Matthew 15:8 New King James Version  ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

Better Together–Staying with God & Not looking back.

“Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:24-26

Live a life of readiness. What the LORD says will come to pass. If we live ready daily, we will be ready at all times. No day is promised. We must stay with God and not look back. Consider Lot who lived in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

  • Genesis 19:12-14 New King James Version – Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

Sometimes we need help to get out of a wicked place. God sent angels to rescue Lot who was considered righteous in the Lord’s sight. Lot was given an opportunity to warn his family. But they took the warning as a joke. Some people love sin so much, a warning from the LORD isn’t taken seriously. The LORD told them when I lead bring you out, “Don’t look back!”

This is not the time to ask God why. This is the time to just obey.

  • Genesis 19:15 – 17 New King James Version – Then the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

Obey the first instruction from the LORD and do not listen to conflicting voices. Don’t make a deal with the devil. Compromise always results in loss. When we look back, we can end up going back. God says Don’t look back.

The devil will come with three lying doors to tempt us:

  1. Door #1 – Look back.
  2. Door #2 – Going back
  3. Door #3 – Never make it back

God has been replaced in some of our lives with stuff, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, children, careers, et cetera. Nothing should be the center of our lives except God. Even our children are own loan to us. Teach them how to be successful spiritually and not just in this life. Earthly success means nothing to God.

A number one trick of the enemy right now is to make us think that living for God is boring.

  • Galatians 6:9 New King James Version – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Don’t get bored serving God. We will regret turning back from the Lord. Don’t go back to past abusive relationships or past sins.

  • Luke 17:32-33 New King James Version – Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

We need to be in Christ Jesus and not just with Him. Judas was with Jesus, but he was not for Jesus. He betrayed Jesus. Stay with the LORD and DON’T LOOK BACK.

Don’t even do a double-take at sin or a compromise. Look away from what is tempting and stay focused on Jesus. We can’t make our agenda our God.