1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Abraham, Albert Camus quote, best of two worlds, funeral procession, go with the flow, green pastures, Lot, miserable, misery index, nibble, powerlines, tormenting the soul, TVA powerlines
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
This verse explains exactly why Lot was in such awful spiritual shape. He never grew in his faith or out of Abraham’s shadow. He only grew to a certain stage because he never pursued God outside Abraham’s faith. The end result was that Lot was spiritually dwarfed. Lot’s heart continued to pursue things of the world rather than spiritual things.
Lot had a righteous soul but was living in sin and was miserable because of it. He was trying to have the best of two worlds. That prevented him from being able to enjoy either one. He felt all twisted inside and had a continual knot in his stomach that just would not go away, no matter how he tried to get rid of it.
Did you know that Christians can be more miserable that nonbelievers? You would think that even in their worst state, a Christian would still score less on the misery index. Why? It is absolutely impossible to live in two worlds.
I grew up under TVA power lines and heard them constantly buzz from the flow of electricity. I used to wonder why birds never got electrocuted standing on those hot wires all day. I came up with all sorts of reasons why the birds did not die. I began to believe if I climbed the tower and grabbed the wire, I too would not be shocked. How faulty was this thinking?
Before I ever had the opportunity to try out his little experiment, someone told me the truth. The reason that the birds were not hurt was because they were touching nothing but the cable. I, on the other hand, could not reach the cable without being connected to something else that was touching the ground. The reason the electricity would kill me is because I would have tried to grab hold of something high in the sky without letting go of his world below.
Lot fought those same temptations. He wanted the high-powered cable in the sky, but he also wanted the life on the ground. Since he could not let go, he was suffering greatly.
What causes a person to continue living in the midst of a situation that is tormenting their very soul? They have no true peace or joy. They can’t fully enjoy sin in reality. Did the king of Sodom chain Lot to the city gate? Was Lot made to live in Sodom or was he free to leave at any time? Even though Lot was free to leave, he was bound.
A rancher once described how cows wander off and get lost. “The cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on the tuft of grass right next to the hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.”
I have never talked to one believer who thought or said, “Today I am going to start wandering away from God and in a few weeks or months I will be so far away I will be unable to connect with Him.” No, most gradually nibble their way right out of the green pastures God has provided. The means may differ, but the result is the same.
This is a real life story to illustrate how quickly things can get mixed up when we go the wrong way. A woman attended a large funeral at a church one afternoon. Since she had appointments to make later in the day, she decided not to join the procession to the cemetery, but to just go her separate way after the funeral. After the service she drove out of the parking lot as planned. However, as she reached the street, the officer directing traffic slapped a sticker on her car and instructed her to put on her headlights. Then he signaled her to fall into line with the other cars going to the cemetery. She rolled down her window to explain that she wanted to go in the opposite direction, but he had already moved on to the car behind her. It was too late. She was stuck.
Feeling awkward, she had no choice but to follow the long line of cars winding its way to the cemetery. Along the route, she noticed the entrance to a supermarket parking lot. She suddenly had a clever idea, she thought, then she acted upon it. With resolve, she turned into the driveway to pull herself out of the string of cars. At last, she assumed, she was free and could proceed to her appointments. But to her horror, the entire procession behind her followed her into the supermarket parking lot! It took half an hour and two policemen to straighten out the confusion. Furthermore, she missed all of her appointments because of the delay.
Sometimes, for seemingly innocent reasons, we allow ourselves to be forced into following the crowd. When that happens, we must force ourselves to break away from the wrong direction we are going, and proceed on to our God-appointed direction. Even though we are believers, unless you and I take appropriate action we all will be drawn into the world’s gravitational pull. The world wants us to go with its flow, which can often seem so reasonable and logical to the natural mind, but we must only flow with the Holy Spirit if we are to live a victorious, fruitful life.