Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
God desires for each of us to be confident in Jesus Christ. That confidence does not come through the flesh, but through the God that we serve. Our confidence comes through The Lord and what He is doing in our lives.
Today we will examine what it is to live outside of confidence in God. There are consequences in not living in His confidence. It means that one will miss out on living the abundant life. By not living in the Lord’s confidence, it means that we would live in our own energy and strength, which will ultimately lead to disasterous results.
Ways of not living under God’s confidence has consequences. These areas include the following:
1. Drifting away from Him
2. Doubting Him — His Word means less and less relevance to you.
3. A dullness about God — a lack of zealousness for Him; a boredom over Him.
4. Despising Him — anything that is deemed of Him or “religious things.”
5. Defying Him — rebellion of Him and His Word; refusing to live as a child of God.
In 2 Peter 2:7, we have a description of a person who is not living in God’s confidence. We will look at Lot’s life and examine it in detail.
2 Peter 2:7
…and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, there are consequences with living outside of God’s will. When a person decides to live outside of God’s authority and His will, He should expect to be brought down and oppressed, even surrounded, by evil. When you are away from The Lord, you are fair game with every demon. The world will treat you roughly, as well.
Lot had his struggles with all of the things noted above, but even in his righteousness, he did not actively witness and proclaim God to others, which is noted in that others did not take him very seriously as to his life. This also applies to us in the same way. God wants us to live in His confidence and honor Him by proclaiming our faith to others. There will come a point that one’s complacency over Jesus Christ will catch many off guard.
28 It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all.
Lot was taken in by Abram (Abraham) at an early age. He learned a lot from Abram, and he was blessed because he was under Abram’s care. Abram loves Lot and cares for him. but Lot chose to live differently from the way Abram lived.
5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people he had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
Note that Lot was blessed by his association with Abram, but he chose to come out from under God’s covering instead of working with Abram.
5 Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. 6 But the land was unable to support them as long as they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they could not stay together, 7 and there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land.
8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, since we are relatives. 9 Isn’t the whole land before you? Separate from me: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
10 Lot looked out and saw that the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Note that Abram’s confidence was in God. He relied upon God’s care for him, and allowed Lot to decide where to go. Lot decided that he would take the best of the land by moving to the east. Lot moved close to the place where there was evil (Sodom), and it wasn’t long before he was right in the middle of it.
11 So Lot chose the entire Jordan Valley for himself. Then Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities of the valley and set up his tent near Sodom.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
Stay away from every kind of evil.
Look at where Lot winds up–he eventually moved into Sodom.
11 The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on. 12 They also took Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, for he was living in Sodom, and they went on.
13 One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with Abram.
A believer needs to proceed with extreme caution in his association with those who choose to live in an ungodly manner. It will have a negative effect on how you live your life and it will eventually cause you to suffer some loss. This happened to Lot because he moved out from under the blessing of Abram and his household. Lot lost much of his wealth because of where he chose to move himself and his family.
When Abram discovers what happens to Lot, he shows the love that he has for his nephew, Lot. He puts everything he owns at risk by going out to rescue Lot.
13 One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken prisoner, he assembled his 318 trained men, born in his household, and they went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he and his servants deployed against them by night, attacked them, and pursued them as far as Hobah to the north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods and also his relative Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the other people.
Even when Lot was rescued, he returned to Sodom. Do you find yourself going back to areas in your life where God would not have you to go? Because of Abraham’s love for his nephew, Lot was brought out of Sodom and rescued. God intended to judge Sodom, but he rescued Lot because of Abraham’s appeals to not destroy Sodom with Lot in it.
19 The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at Sodom’s gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground 2 and said, “My lords, turn aside to your servant’s house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way.”
“No,” they said. “We would rather spend the night in the square.” 3 But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.
4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
6 Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. 7 He said, “Don’t do this evil, my brothers. 8 Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want[a] to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they said, adding, “This one came here as a foreigner, but he’s acting like a judge! Now we’ll do more harm to you than to them.” They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. 10 But the angels reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the entrance of the house, both young and old, with a blinding light so that they were unable to find the entrance.
12 Then the angels said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place, 13 for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is so great before the Lord, that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were going to marry his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
When Lot tried to communicate with his sons-in-law, he wasn’t taken seriously at a critical time because they did not see Lot’s dedication or zeal for God. They did not see Lot’s sincerity for The Lord. When people see your sincerity for Jesus Christ in everything that you do, they will take you seriously.
15 At daybreak the angels urged Lot on: “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. Because of the Lord’s compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters. Then they brought him out and left him outside the city.
17 As soon as the angels got them outside, one of them said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords—please. 19 Your servant has indeed found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness by saving my life. But I can’t run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20 Look, this town is close enough for me to run to. It is a small place. Please let me go there—it’s only a small place, isn’t it?—so that I can survive.”
21 And he said to him, “All right, I’ll grant your request about this matter too and will not demolish the town you mentioned. 22 Hurry up! Run there, for I cannot do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city is Zoar.
Note that Lot was hesitant when he was told to get out of Sodom. He was looking more at what he wanted for the moment than what could happen to him and his family. You’ve heard the saying, “He who hesitates is lost”? The angels had to rescue Lot and his family, and he even chose to go to a place that was different from where the angels told him to go (the mountains). He chose instead to go to Zoar, where he thought he would be safe. Here is where God will sometimes allow us to go places that are not necessarily the best for us. He desires for us to have His best, but it is our choice to accept His best.
Do you see how a person can be given good information and guidance, and how some can refuse to take it and use it? A person can make a conclusion to do something different, and sometimes it is void of reasoning.
God listened to Abraham’s intercessory prayers for Lot. He prayed for Lot’s safety, and God remembered him.
So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when He demolished the cities where Lot had lived.
When you lose confidence in God, you have already lost a great deal. Lot had lost his wealth and whatever he owned. He lost his family and even his daughters after he was rescued because of the type of the relationship that he had with them. He also lost the closeness of his relationship with Abraham and his family. Many things that Lot experienced were because of his lack of confidence and trust in God.
Abraham was blessed in the land of Canaan where he was. Lot wound up in a different place then where he had intended.
Lot departed from Zoar and lived in the mountains along with his two daughters, because he was afraid to live in Zoar. Instead, he and his two daughters lived in a cave.
A person has to make a choice to allow God to govern his or her life, and make decisions with His guidance. That is how we are to live the life that God would have us to live. He desires that you live the abundant life in Jesus Christ. It begins with our faith and trust in Him, and He will bring us out of those areas that break our fellowship with Him. Our prayer is that you will listen to God and yield to Him and His goodness. God loves you more that you can ever imagine. He wants you to prosper,