Closer to Jesus

What Does Hesitating to Obey God Cost You?

The angels urged him, “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But Lot hesitated.

Have you ever hesitated at first when God calls you to take a step of faith into His purpose for you? How long does it take you to obey Him? What holds you back?

Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash

We don’t know what caused Lot to hesitate, but we can read between the lines and make a reliable guess. Could it be that leaving his home and possessions was difficult? Was not knowing where he and his family were going creating concern? Either way, letting go of the past is hard, and embracing an uncertain future is disconcerting. In many ways, I believe the latter is most problematic for us humans.

We lose control when we don’t know what the future holds. Without the assurance of what is ahead, we play out every disaster we could experience. Our flesh is so bent on what could go wrong instead of trusting God for what will go right.

When life presents an uncertain future, and God has called you to step forward in faith, your best response is to obey immediately and to trust Him completely.

When life presents an uncertain future, and God has called you to step forward in faith, your best response is to obey immediately and to trust Him completely. Click To Tweet

When facing the unknown, we can know Jesus. Seek His righteousness. Believe His plan is best. Jesus encourages us to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (that we worry about not having)will be provided for us.” Notice Jesus didn’t say ‘might be provided’; He said, ‘will be provided.’ Your Heavenly Father knows every detail of your life. He knows what you need, even better than you do.

How many of us make decisions to obey God based on what we will gain or lose in the process?

Our deciding factor to obey should be based on pleasing God. And we please Him with faith. 

Lot’s hesitation was based solely on fear. We judge Lot, but aren’t we much the same?

I can relate to Lot’s hesitation. I am ashamed to admit it but I see a pattern of delayed obedience in my life. For some reason, it takes me eight months of wrestling with God before moving forward with His calling. Eight months! Way too long! My hesitation is no more than disobedience.

I go through the process of assessing the pros and cons and playing out every scenario. Now, it is good to count the cost, assure that God is indeed speaking to you, but my lack of immediate obedience has more to do with wanting to know how all things will all work out, rather than assessing if God is truly speaking to me. I’m just being real here. 

I’m learning that the one thing we can trust (when facing uncharted territory), is the good and faithful character of our God.

Thankfully, amidst our fear, we serve a God who has great compassion for us, as He did for Lot.   

In Lot’s moment of hesitation, “the angels grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters and got them out of the city. As soon as they got them out, one angel 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!’

At this point, Lot’s proper response should have been quick and rapid obedience. After all, the angels spoke for God. But what did Lot do?  

“He said to the angels, ‘No, my lords’ – please. Your servant has indeed found favor in your sight, and you have shown me a great kindness by saving my life (a reason to trust them). But I can’t run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 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. And the angels said, “All right, I’ll grant your request.” 

Photo by Tim Tiedemann on Unsplash

How many times do we distrust our ability to do what God has called us to do?I believe that God would have given Lot the necessary strength to get to the mountains if only he had faith to believe. For “it is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” He gives us everything we need to do exactly everything He wants us to do. 

Peter tells us that Lot was a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7-8). God rescued him from the immoral behavior that plummeted the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Righteous means he did not engage in these reckless practices, however, we must note, even though Lot didn’t commit the sin engaged around him, He lived his life more in fear than in faith. His fear dictated his decisions. His fear offered his engaged (to be married) daughters as sex slaves to the men of the town who demanded to rape the angels who visited his family.  You never make a wrong right by committing another wrong. 

You never make a wrong right by committing another wrong. Click To Tweet

After asking the angels if he could go to the small town of Zoar, and granting his request to do so, Lot then feared living there, so he took his girls with him to the mountains. This decision opened up the most tragic of tragedies. 

Lot’s firstborn said to her sister, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us [as is] the custom of all the land. Come, let’s get our father to drink wine so that we can sleep with him and preserve our father’s line.”

Following in their father’s footsteps of fear, these two girls get their father drunk, sleep with him, and through incest, Lot becomes a father and grandfather at the same time. From this sin, the people groups of the Moabites and the Ammonites are born. Both groups commit the worst sensual perversion in the history of Israel.

I wonder how Lot’s family would have been different if he led them in faith instead of fear? 

Photo by Lachlan Dempsey on Unsplash 

Would his wife have looked back at the city and turned into a pillar of salt? No, she would have trusted God by her husband’s side.

Would incest have ever entered their daughter’s mind? No, they would have turned to the Lord and asked His provision of a husband, or better yet, just maybe the men who they were engaged to would have followed them out of the citybecause Lot would have mentored them in faith.  

I look at my own life and wonder what it would look like if I had obeyed God immediately in some situations? I will never know. But one thing I do know is hesitation to obey God immediately costs us something – it costs us God’s best as fear settles for less.

The good news is this, God’s grace and compassion are infinite. Past mistakes have passed, and today I can begin living a different story.  

Will you join me and kick hesitation behind you and practice immediate obedience today?Digging Deeper: Read Genesis 19, Philippians 2:13, 2 Peter 2:1-10, Matthew 6:25-34

2 comments

  1. Oh, Marcie… this is soo good. And how often do all of us allow fear to overrule our faith? Very convicting, challenging and inspiring post, my godly friend! Thank you! <3 and hugs!

    1. Unfortunately I can give into fear more that I’d like to admit, but I’m learning not to. Genesis 19 was quite convicting on the point for me. Glad you liked it! 😀

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