YOUR CHOICES PRECEDE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

BY:  TROY NICHOLS

INTRODUCTION

LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LOT

GETTING INTO POSITION TO GET BLESSED BY GOD

INTRODUCTION

Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Principle:  The choice you make will affect your seed or children down the road.

We witnessed division in the heart of our nation over the choices that were made in our 2000 election for president.  We turn on the news and see that choices are being made daily that is going to affect the future of our country and our children.  However, at the same time this battle was going on to place a man in the Whitehouse, there was and still is a battle that is going on to place Jesus in His house in which we as believers in Christ are! 

Simply put, there is a struggling taking place in the hearts of many believers today as they are learning that doing things their way has got them no where and that they are going to have to surrender all (even their life) in order for the Lord to manifest Himself in their lives, families, ministries, cities, states and countries.

Gen 13:10-12 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

If Lot were to turn his story into a biography and market it in today’s Christian bookstores and we had the privilege of choosing a title, we might pick something like:

1) Trying to live in two different worlds?

2) How to be saved, but ineffective!

3) A day by day step to spiritual ruin

4) The story of the crisis in the life of a carnal Christian

Lot’s lesson may not have been clear to him at the end of his life.  But for us, looking back through the scriptures, we can see the lesson to be learned all too well.  Simply put, Lot’s situation in life, as ours, was a result of deliberate or planned choices of whom he had no one to blame but himself!

After Lot had left this world, all that could really be said about him was that he was a believer and that God delivered him when judgment came.  He was really left with little to show for his years on earth, which is when the real measure of a man or woman’s life can be told.

Luke 17:26-33 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.  In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.  Remember Lot‘s wife.  Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

To remember Lot’s wife, we need to go back to Genesis 19:23-26 where it reads, “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that, which grew upon the ground.  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Now, what did Jesus mean in Luke 17 when He said “Remember Lot’s wife”?  Did He mean, “Don’t look back over your shoulder or you will become a giant salt shaker?  I personally don’t think so.  To get the full impact of what Jesus meant, we need only to read verse 33 where it states, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”  Simply put, if you are going to follow Jesus, you must deny yourself (your will and rights), take up your cross and follow Him whithersoever he goeth! 

Revelation:  A dead man has no rights!

Paul told his followers to follow him as he followed Christ (1 Cor 11:1).  This is a good principal for all, especially our young people.  Simply put, follow only those that are following Christ (Godly morals) lest you find yourself being turned away from the Lord into a life of destruction! 

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE IN REGARDS OF FOLLOWING SOMEONE!

Gen 19:15-16 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

I want to point out the fact here that Lot lingered in so much that the angels had to take hold of him, his wife and daughters in order to get them out of the situation that they had become involved with. 

This word lingered means to question or to hesitate.  The Lord, is still sending messengers to rescue people that are in bad situations, and what is sad is the fact that many of them linger and hesitate as Lot did.  You can hear many ask the question in their hearts, “Is there anyway I can serve the Lord and yet stay where I am at now, doing the things I like to do?”

Lot’s wife was faced with the decision to linger or press on to follow the Lord in Genesis 19:23-26 where it reads, “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” 

The words looked back here in Hebrew simply means, to consider with pleasure.  As she thus considered the things of this world more important than obeying and following the Lord, the Lord brought judgment upon her by turning her into a pillar of salt! 

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING TRUTHS AND PRINCIPLES:

1) The woman in the scriptures is a type of the church, be it the worldly apostate church that man is building or the spiritual church that Christ is building through His body.

2) Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 that we (believers, individually and corporately) are the salt of the earth.

3) Lot’s wife speaks to us in principle of the worldly apostate church and isn’t it interesting that she BECAME a pillar of salt!

4) The word pillar in Hebrew speaks of something that is stationary.  Something that is stationary doesn’t move, thus in principle; Lot’s wife speaks to us of a church or an individual that is not moving at all to influence the world for Jesus Christ!

I know that Jesus told us to remember Lot’s wife, but I would like to do a play on words here (at the conclusion of this message) for the sake of teaching and say that we also need to remember Lot’s LIFE.  And, the message of Lot’s life can be seen in the message of his wife!

Simply put:

1) She looked back because that is where her heart was. 

2) Her life was wrapped up in the things the world had to offer her. 

3) She was a believer, but she was a believer who had so identified with the world that she held on to it and lost everything, even her life. 

How did she get to this place?  The answer is simple; her husband led her there.  It would do us good to learn a valuable principle here.  Simply put, the choices we make today will be reflected in the choices our families make down the road. Lot’s wife’s desires were where her husband led her!  

Gen 13:10-12 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

I want to close this part by touching on the fact that Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom.  The word pitched here in Hebrew simply means to tent.  This may not mean much to you now but it will after we look at John 1:14 where it reads, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

The word dwelt here in the Greek also means to tent.  The principle is simple.  Lot identified with Sodom (ways of world) and pitched his tent (affections) towards it.  Jesus identified with man (who was in bondage to sin) and pitched His tent (affections) towards him.  Lot pitched his tent (affections) towards Sodom and led his family into the bondage of sin and death.  Jesus pitched His tent (affections) towards man and through his death, burial and resurrection set mankind free from the bondage of sin and death.

Lot’s first major mistake was the fact that he identified with the pleasures of this world.  He as so many today thought it would have no damaging effect on his life and his walk with God.  We shall see as we continue on in this series that his choice to pitch his tent (affections) towards Sodom ultimately reduced his life to ashes.  The poem below explains it very well.

Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, the scripture doeth record.  And as he looked to Sodom, his eyes turned from the Lord.  T’was just an idle glance at first, but then a searching eye.  He turned away and glanced again, then finally by and by.  He moved his home to Sodom, a natural move to make.  Forgetting that, where man goes, he must his family take.  Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom; the rest is history.  Oh, God, had he not faced that way, how different things would be.  He pitched his tent toward Sodom, and never realized.  His very vision of his God was fading from his eyes.  Check out which way your tent (affections) is pitched, it’s not to late to find.  You still can pitch your tent (affections) toward God and leave the world behind!

Consider the following illustrations:

1) A man had a fine canary whose song was unusually beautiful. During the summer, it seemed a shame to keep the bird inside the house all the time. So the owner placed the cage in a nearby tree for the bird to enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air. Many sparrows frequented the tree and were attracted to the cage. At first the canary was frightened, but soon enjoyed his companions. But gradually and almost imperceptibly he lost the sweetness of the song. By the end of the summer his “singing” was little more than the twitter of the sparrows. Spending his summer in the wrong environment caused the canary to lose his finest song.

2) First dentistry was painless; then bicycles were chainless, carriages were horseless, and many laws, enforceless.  Next, cookery was fireless, telegraphy was wireless, cigars were nicotineless and coffee, caffeinless. Soon oranges were seedless, the putting green was weedless, the college boy hatless, the proper diet, fatless.   Now motor roads are dustless, the latest steel is rustless, our tennis courts are sodless, our new religions, GODLESS!  Selah

3) It’s a provoking thought to realize that most of the people who failed in Scriptures failed in the second half of their lives.

Take a moment and consider the following in closing:

1) Who has the greatest influence in your life in regards to how you live?

2) Is this a positive influence or a negative influence for you?

3) What habit has control of you and thus is influencing you?

4) Are you prepared to suffer the consequences for your bad choices?

LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LOT

We learned in our last message that Lot led his wife and family into Sodom.  We learned that God sent messengers or angels to rescue them out of Sodom before He destroyed it.  And, we learned that Lot’s wife had to turn back for one last look and when she did, she became a pillar of salt.  We shared with you how the woman in the scriptures speak of the church be it the church that Jesus is building or the apostate church that man is building.

With that insight, let us begin this message by giving you this revelation.  Lot (being man) led his wife (type of Church) and she became a pillar of salt.  The principle is simple, when man makes an attempt to lead the church (local assembly), it is then that it begins to BECOME (over a period of time) a pillar of salt or simply put, a monument having lost all influence and only able to declare what ONCE WAS!

Gen 13:10-12 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.  (Lot’s name means covered or veiled)

1) Lot speaks to us in principle of those whose mind has yet to be opened to spiritual things.

Don’t think you can get Lot to see what you see.  Simply put, if the Lord doesn’t remove the veil from his mind and open his eyes, he will continue to walk in darkness or ignorance.  I always assumed that since certain truths of God were so simple to me that I could share these truths with others and they would readily see what I had seen.  Wow, did I get a rude awakening?  However, out of that experience, I now understand why some hear and see and why others don’t.  There are some principles in Luke 24 that helps me better relate with people as to what they hear and see in the scriptures verses what they don’t hear and see.

First of all, in Luke 24:27, 32 you will note that these men said their hearts burned within them while Jesus beginning at Moses and all the prophets, expounded unto in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  This word burned here means to set on fire, to consume or to light. 

You will note in verse 16 that their eyes were holden that they should not know that it was Jesus talking to them.  Another translation says of this verse, “but they didn’t recognize him, for God kept them from it.”  I trust you see the principle and truth here.  Simply put, these disciples were walking with Jesus but didn’t know him for it was not yet time for him to be revealed to them.  However, while Jesus talked to them, there was a light going off in them! 

This speaks to us in principle of those that come in our midst and may not know who we are by the spirit but yet will leave and say that there was something different about that person, for while they were speaking, I felt something inside of me.  We know they felt the presence of the Living God!

Secondly, you will note in verse 28-29 that as Jesus was finishing his teaching from Moses and the prophets that they came upon the disciple’s house in whom He was talking to.  Jesus then acted as though He was going to go on but these disciples’s insisted that He come into their house and abide with them. 

This speaks to us in principle of the place you come to where after hearing the word, you now welcome that which you heard into your heart.  Now that Jesus has been invited into the house, you will note in verse 30 that as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them, and then in verse 31 you will see that after they partook of the bread, their eyes were open and they knew who Jesus was!  This is the place where you get a revelation of who Jesus is for yourself.

Thirdly, you will note in verse 36 that as the disciples were talking about Jesus, He suddenly appeared in the midst of them and in verse 45 you will see that He opened their understanding of the scriptures.  This speaks to us in principle of the place of maturity.  Simply put, you have gone past experiencing the word, knowing the word, to now understanding the word.  Let us move on now to our next point.

2) Lot speaks to us in principle of those that are self-centered.

I want you to note that Lot made his choice without seeking God.  Simply put, his mind was on what HE wanted, not what God wanted.  His mind was on what HE wanted not the best interest of his family.  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (misery, decay, decline, downfall, loss of strength, breakdown, failure, etc); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal 6:7-8).”

I tell you that many are suffering some extreme hardships today due to some bad decisions that were made somewhere in their past.  Many families are suffering division today because the man made the choice not to lead his family in the ways of the Lord.  Many young people are in trouble today due to some bad decisions that were made somewhere in their past.  Many local churches are suffering due to some bad decisions that were made somewhere in their past by leadership and boards acting independent of God.  And as a result, many of them have become no more than a standing monument!  The truth is, it is not about what you want, what I want or what the board wants.  It is about what God wants in each and every situation of our lives and ministries. 

Fact: One of the root causes of many of these bad decisions above can find its root in self-centeredness!  Simply put, it is all about ME and what I want.

Some symptoms of self-centeredness are; pride, anger, self-pity, depressions, moodiness, easily hurt and offended, grudges, etc.  A self-centered person can’t be happy unless everything revolves around them!  They relate everything that is said or done to them.  They are very sensitive to their own needs, but are very insensitive to the needs of others. 

Below is a list of sayings that will let you see if there is any self-centeredness within you.

Leave ME alone, I am busy.  Nothing goes right for ME.  I’ve gotten a raw deal in life.  The world owes ME something for all that I have done.  What’s in this for ME?  How do I benefit from this?  I’m going to get my fair share.  You have offended and insulted ME!  I will not forgive you.  I will never forgive you!  Forgiving is giving.  I only receive.  I have had to work hard for everything I have.  I have had to fight for every nickel I have.  I have to think of MY happiness.  I owe it to myself.  I deserve something better!  My problems are unusual.  No one has ever been through anything like this before!  No one cares about ME.  No one ever calls ME.  Everyone avoids me.  No one understands ME.  You don’t understand ME.  You don’t care!  You have failed to meet MY needs and MY expectations.  I don’t have to put up with this!  I have my rights!  I can’t take it anymore.  I want the final say in this matter!  Everything the Pastor said this morning was directed towards ME!  He was singling ME out!  I am not coming back to church.

Provoking thoughts to consider:

1) Someone wrapped up in themselves have got a very small package! 

2) When you are wrapped up in yourself, you are overdressed!

3) If you wish to be miserable, think much about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you, and what people think of you.

3) Lot speaks to us in principle of those that want the easy way out.

Notice that Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld ALL the PLAIN of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere and then he chose ALL the PLAIN of Jordan. 

A plain according to the English Dictionary is a place that is free from obstructions, a place that is not complicated, a place that has no visible elevation.  The Hebrew meaning of plain is a circle.  With that insight, let us takes these meanings and glean some principles that will help you to recognize those things that Lot will desire.  Simply put, he will desire:

1) A place that is free from obstruction or any difficulties such as delays, trials or tests.

2) A place that is not complicated, a place where everything is easy. 

3) A place where there is no visible elevation, a place where the word doesn’t reveal his need to grow up, but instead lets him remain as he is.

4) A circle, a place where he can continue to do the things he does even though it means going through the same failures, pain, depression, and heartaches over and over again.

Note the following 4 characteristics of Lot:

1) Lot doesn’t like a challenge nor does he like to be pressed so he will always choose the PLAIN!  Simply put, he will find a church or enter into relationships that will not press him to change or grow up. 

2) Lot saw that the land was well watered everywhere.  The principle is simple; Lot seeks a place where the things of God have been watered down to the point of having no impact on his worldliness.  Instead of Gospel LIGHT, which shines into darkness and convicts the heart, Lot would rather have Gospel LITE with no kick or conviction!

3) Lot journeyed east.  The Tabernacle of Moses was always set up with the door or entrance facing east.  As the sun therefore would rise, it would shine on the door, which we know now, spoke of Christ.  Now, if the door was in the east then that would mean that the Throne room or Most Holy Place was in the west.  The principle here is simple, Lot wants the SON to rise in him but not SAT in him and thus rule his life.

4) Lot pitched his tent (affections) towards Sodom (a city of homosexuality), which in Hebrew means scorched or burnt.  Lot in principle will enter into relationships that are fruitless and thus will end in failure.  He will enter into relationships not ordered of the Lord and get burnt by them.  He will be vexed (agitated, angered, upset, irritated) by the very relationships that looked to be good in the earlier stages. 

You will see in Gen 19:14 that Lot warned his son in laws to flee the city in order to spare their lives.  They however took him as a mocker.  Simply put, Lot had no spiritual influence as far as they were concerned.  Lot didn’t have enough spiritual influence to save his own wife.  In fact, the very place (ungodly relationships) that he had led her into had more influence on her than he did. 

I also want to point out that the only ones that left Sodom were Lot, his wife and daughters.  Remember that the son in laws took Lot as a mocker.  Well, consider the thought that Lot’s daughters had lost their spiritual influence also as they were not able to influence their own husbands to leave the things of the world behind and come with them to follow the Lord.

Provoking thought:

What is winning influence over your family?  If it is something bad, do you have enough spiritual influence in your family to turn their affections towards God or do they take you as a mocker as they did Lot? 

Lots wife turned into a pillar of salt as we have learned.  A pillar is a monument.  If you could read her monument today, you would perhaps read something on it like this, “I looked BACK and never went FORWARD!” 

Here is a portrait of the uselessness of a believer who can’t take his or her eyes off the world.  Here is what Jesus meant when he said that believers are the salt of the earth, but when the salt has lost its flavor or savor, what good is it?  It is useless. 

Lot’s wife didn’t look back to see if Lot was with her, she looked back to see what she was leaving behind.  And as a result, she became a living monument.  She didn’t want to leave Sodom.  She didn’t have to.  She stayed there forever!

GETTING INTO POSITION TO BE BLESSED BY GOD

Gen 13:7-9 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.  And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.  Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

I think it interesting that the Lord used the strife between all these shepherds to get one man in the place he wanted him to be in order that He could bless him.  The principle is simple; that thing that seems so bad around you at this present time could be the very thing that the Lord is going to use to move you into position to be blessed.  So, get your eyes off of the circumstances and get them on the Lord!

The word circumstance is simply the conditions that surround or affect a person.  The word circumstance is made up of two parts.  Circum, which means, something that surrounds on all sides and stance which means the way a person stands or the attitudes that one manifest in any given situation.   

Your maturity in the Lord can be determined by how you respond or stand in your circumstances.  Simply put, you will murmur and complain or you will let the peace of God rule in your hearts and walk through your circumstance victorious!  Once again, it is all about the choices we make.

Your choices will let those around you see if you are walking in the wilderness (carnal mind – flesh) or the promise land (spiritual mind – spirit).  Simply being, in the wilderness, they murmured and complained, in the promise land they overcame the enemies and possessed that which the Lord had given them. 

With that insight, let us move on.  We have learned in our previous messages about the characteristics of Lot and the principles of Lot choosing ALL the PLAIN of Jordan.  In this part, we want to discuss Abram and the choices he made and how those choices affected his life later in his life.

Gen 11:26-32 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.  Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.  And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.  And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.  But Sarai was barren; she had no child.  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.  And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Note the following principles from the above scriptures:

1) God had already told Abram to get out of his country, from his kindred and his Fathers house unto a land that HE would show him.  We get in trouble many times for two reasons that can be seen here in the life of Abram. 

2) One, because we hesitate to move forward when the Lord instructs us.  Two, we move forward in attempt to obey the Lord but yet not totally do all the Lord said to do and how he said to do it lest we offend someone. 

3) The sad part of this scenario is that in doing this; we limit and thus hinder the blessing of God from coming upon our family, our churches and us as individuals.  When will we learn, you simply can’t please everyone?

4) If God tells you to separate from someone, it is because he knows something about that individual that you may not know just YET!  With that said, let us look at Abrams family members and glean some principles that will help us better understand why Abram should have left them behind as the Lord had instructed him earlier.

a)      Terah/Father: Delay (Terah will hold you back spiritually)

b)      Nahor/Brother: Snorer (you don’t snore unless you are asleep)

c)      Haran/Brother: Mountaineer (talks big but manifest little)

d)      Lot/Nephew: Veil or covering (carnally minded individuals)

There is at least one family in every local assembly that you need to be made aware of.  If you are not aware of this family, they could hurt your church if their hearts remain unchanged.  The name of this family is the Tate family.

1) Brother & Sister Dic Tate who want to run everything in the church.

2) Brother & Sister Ro Tate who want to change everything.

3) Brother & Sister Agi Tate who stir up trouble all the time.

4) Brother & Sister Iri Tate who get under your skin.

5) Brother & Sister Hesi Tate who want to put commitment off until later.

6) Brother & Sister Deves Tate who always seem to tear down everything.

7) Brother & Sister Ampu Tate who cut themselves off from those they don’t like.

8) Brother & Sister Poten Tate who want to be a big shot and have all the control.

There is however hope for this family if they would repent and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in their hearts.  Below is an example of some changed hearts in the Tate family.

1) Brother & Sister Imi Tate who wants all those in the Church to be like Jesus.

2) Brother & Sister Facili Tate who is very helpful in the Church, and makes it easier on the Leaders.

3) Brother and Sister Medi Tate who take time to think things over, wait on God, and then give you sound advice.        

With that said, let us get back to Abram, remember that God had instructed him to leave his kindred and his family.  However, we read that Terah took Abram and Lot and Sarai (Abrams wife) from Ur of Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there where Terah later died at the age of 205.  With this insight, let us glean the following principles.

1) Ur of the Chaldees could be likened to our modern day Las Vegas.  It was a city that was known for its worship of the moon God.  The moon as most of you know has no light; it reflects the light from the sun.  To reflect something is to give back an image, to copy or to imitate.  Now, if God wants Abram to leave this place, it should be easy for you to see that there must be something wrong there.  Taking the meaning of this word reflect, we can see that this place speaks in principle of a place where man instills a false image of God into your mind or another Jesus if you will (See: 2 Cor 11:4).   That alone should be easy to see why the Lord would want Abram out of that place.

2) Terah took Abram, Lot and Sarai from this place to go into the land of Canaan, however they came to Haran and dwelt there.  This is interesting when you note that Haran like Ur was a place where the moon God was worshipped.  Terah speaks in principle of those that talk like they want to go with you into that which the Lord is leading you into but when you start in that direction, they will delay you (hold you back spiritually) and persuade you to follow them instead of them following you as you follow Christ!

3) Terah speaks to us in principle of the OLD MAN.  With this said, we see that the old man or the carnal mind took Abram, Lot and Sarai where it wanted to go.  I think it interesting that Abram didn’t begin to come into that which God had for him until his OLD MAN DIED!  We can see a parallel in Isaiah 6 where when King Uzziah died, the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord and after seeing the Lord, he then saw the condition of his heart and the hearts of the people of God.  He then confessed his condition, had his condition forgiven, had his condition changed and then entered into the fullness of that which the Lord had for him.  The principle here is simple; once you see by revelation that your old man is dead and that you were crucified with Christ, you will then begin to walk into the Land of Canaan.  Our Land of Canaan is Christ and the fruit from that land is the fruit of the Spirit.

Gen 13:8-9 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.  Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

I think it interesting that Abram finds himself in a place where he NOW has no choice but to do what the Lord had already told him in time past, which was to separate from his kindred and his family.  The principle is simple, don’t put off till tomorrow what the Lord has said to do today lest you suffer or be hindered from receiving that which the Lord has for you!

Prov 29:1-2 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.  When the righteouses are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Principle:  When you allow your flesh to control and dominate you, you will not enter into nor experience the joy of the Lord and will spend much of your time mourning and complaining. 

Principle:  When you allow and place those in authority that the Lord has not placed, the people under that authority will mourn and complain.  (If this isn’t dealt with, it could even cause an uprising in your midst)  Once again, it is all about the choices we make!

Prov 1:23-33 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Note the following truths and principles from the above text:

1) The word turn in Hebrew means to turn back.  Turn back in time and you will see why you are presently receiving a word of correction.  Simply put, somewhere you made a bad choice and the Lord in His mercy is reaching out to you and giving you an opportunity to repent. 

2) Note that the Lord said, if we didn’t receive correction, that He would laugh at our calamities.  This word denotes misfortunes, oppressions, ruin, and disasters.  Can’t we see this in many believers lives today?

I trust you have been blessed by these teachings.  We have each one of these messages available to order on cassette for any size love offering to God’s Healing Ministry.  Your support enables us to send our tapes around the world.

 

 

YOUR CHOICES PRECEDE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES [Troy Nichols]          1

 

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