Summary: Many times our past holds us back from a great relationship with Christ. This message trys to get us to focus on what God has in store for us.
Jesus makes a very simple statement that relates to a very big problem: our ability to walk away from our old life. This statement to remember Lot’s wife is sandwiched between Jesus’ discussion on how God’s judgment came upon man while he went through his everyday life thinking of the great things he would do tomorrow, but their tomorrow brought only their destruction. And between His discussions on how a changing of our ways will keep us from that destruction.
As we know from Scripture, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt after she looked back at the city of Sodom, where she lived, which was being destroyed by the Lord. Now was her punishment because she disobeyed the command given by the angles to not look back as they fled? Or was it because of the reason she looked back? I would say that she was punished for both. God did not want them to look back because He wants us to trust in His direction and future for our lives. When we look back we are saying in our hearts that I miss where I came from and am unsure of where God is leading me. So we can read in Genesis 19:26 that Lot’s wife looked back and in so doing was turned into a pillar of salt. In this verse we need to understand that the original Hebrew language has the words “looked back” to indicate that she took a longing look upon the city, a look that indicated she wanted what she left and not what God was saving her from or from what new life He was going to give them.
(Give some examples of what she was looking back to)
So in looking back to our scripture in Luke we see that Jesus is telling the disciples, as well as us, that we should not be looking back at the things of the world and our old life when He has a better life awaiting us. So don’t look back with longing for the life you lived before receiving Christ.
“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Luke 17:33
Again Jesus is letting us know that we need to give up our old ways and look to His ways for our lives. Cast out the old man and let the born-again man live to please our Father in heaven.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
When we accepted Christ as our Lord and savior we have signed a contract with Him to follow His lead and not to long for the things of this world, to look forward to the eternal things and not worry so much about the earthly things. In being a disciple of Christ we are to press forward toward the mark that God has set before us. Because when we look back while we are walking we will run into or fall into something. Don’t look back; keep an eye on what lays ahead for you.
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62
In this scripture we see that Jesus wants us to look to the greater priorities that God wants for us, and to not let the lesser priorities of life cause use to look back at the way we were. Again, we should not let life’s lesser priorities become greater priorities than God’s work because we then become little use to Him, and we become unfit or unusable for His service. Remember that you can not plough a straight line if you are looking back at the row you ploughed or for that fact anything behind you. For this let us use as an example 1 Kings 19:19-21; this is where Elisha is plowing the field with his oxen and Elijah walks by him, and as scripture tells us, that Elijah cast his mantle upon Elisha. And we see in verse 20 that Elisha quickly understood that he was being called into service for God. But he replies to Elijah that if could go and kiss his father and mother goodbye; to which, Elijah replied that he should just go back then. But we can see in verse 21 that Elisha takes the very tools he was used to working with and burned them, leaving him nothing to return to. Elisha when called by God burned his bridge to his old life and started looking forward to the new life God had for him. Don’t look back, because in doing so you will make crooked the straight path that leads to Christ.