8. Do not let them influence you (1)

Abram and Lot were both very wealthy. They had so many sheep and cattle that the land couldn't support them all. They had to split ways and as we have seen last week Lot took the best land for himself. Even though the Lord promised Abram the land, Lot decided to take the best for himself. This revealed a part of Lot's character to me. Through his actions one can clearly discern that he was selfish. Even though he knew in those days that the older partner had first choice, he gladly accepted Abram's proposal. And to top it off he certainly knew that God had a very special relationship with Abram, but that didn't bother him. He wanted the best and that was it! He was greedy and didn't once consider the needs of his uncle.

After splitting with Abram Lot moved towards Sodom.

"So while Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom, among the cities of the plain. The people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against the Lord." Genesis 13:12, 13

Lot moved out on his own for the first time. For the first time he was out under the good influence of his uncle Abram. And the first thing he did was to move to a place, known for being notoriously evil and known for being against the Lord. We don't know his reasons for moving close to Sodom. Maybe their wicked life style didn't bother him, maybe he thought he could be a good influence on them, or maybe he liked the area and the vibe it brought. We don't know. But what we will learn in future weeks is that moving there was a big mistake. Making choices without God is normally the worst choices of our lives. Plus I don't think he was spiritually as strong as his uncle was. I say that because the instances where it is recorded that Abram built an altar to the Lord and Abram worshipped the Lord, Lot's name wasn't mentioned. This makes me wonder at his spiritual wellbeing. And his choices and actions later on will confirm my suspicion.

The lesson for me here is twofold. Number one; always ask God's guidance on big decisions in your life. Always ask Him to lead you unto the best path for your life. Decisions made without God's guidance could prove disastrous.

And number two; don't think you are stronger spiritually than you really are. Scripture tells us to reach out to the people living in 'Sodom' around us. It tells us to show them how to live for Christ, and how to be a child of God and to draw them closer to Him. But please make sure that you influence them and not them you. The moment you notice that their bad influence over you is growing, try to take a break for a while until you feel you can reach out to them again, spiritually stronger. It can so easily happen that you get pulled down, as it is much easier to pull someone down from a wall, than to pull someone up on one. Rather make sure that you have close Biblical friends, read your Bible regularly and spend time alone with God.

Don't be like Lot. He never influenced anyone in Sodom as we will see later with its destruction. In fact he later went to live inside of Sodom, showing us that he actually liked their lifestyle. Learn from his mistake. The moment their lifestyle seems enjoyable and even acceptable to you, get out and grow spiritually with God before reaching out to them again. You first need to be sober before you can mean something to your alcoholic friends. Ask God to help you, He most certainly will.

Father, please help us to be the example You want us to be. We can so easily be influenced Lord, please help us to stand strong and not accept immoral behaviour as the norm. We love You Jesus and want to be just like You, walking along the sinners, without becoming a sinner Yourself. Please help us. Amen


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