Summary: If you should look up one day this week and discover to your dismay that sin has crept into your life, I want to give you a strategy for STARTING OVER... AGAIN.
Passage: Gen. 13:1-4
It’s been observed that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is easy to see in our daily lives; how often do your victories give way to failures? How often does a great day end on a sour note? How frequently does a string of positive worship, reveal rotten fruit on the vine of our lives?
This trend goes beyond the individual experience of Christians and blends into the body of Christ as well. Richard Lovelace in his book "Dynamics of Spiritual Life" observed that the key problem with revivals is the failure to take into account that every assault on the enemies territory will be met with a vicious counterassault.
So if, perchance as we discussed this morning you should come under attack and if that attack should cause a failure. If because of that you find yourself not walking where you should... If you should look up one day this week and discover to your dismay that sin has crept into your life, I want to give you a strategy for STARTING OVER... AGAIN.
Do you remember what has just happened to Abram in Genesis 12:10-20? He convinced his wife and everyone with him to lie to Pharaoh and pretend she was his sister. He did this for all the reasons that we fall into sin.
Remember that the foundation of Abram’s failure was that he failed to take God’s word into account. Abram fell into fear, he fell into second guessing God, he fell into lying, he fell into sin, because he didn’t keep God’s word in his heart. He lied about his wife, and it nearly cost Sarai her purity, the Pharaoh his life, and Abram his safety. And it did cost the family a place to stay. They had to leave Egypt (12:20).
So what do you do when you realize that you’ve moved out of obedience and into sin? The first thing you should do is:...
1) RETRACE YOUR STEPS:
(Gen.. 13:1-2 / CREF: Gen.. 12:5,8,9)
"So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev,
he and his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot with him."
Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold."
Compare that text with Gen.. 12:5,8,9. There you see Abram doing the same things here, that he did at first. He took his money, his wife and his nephew and moved. In Genesis 12 he’s moving from north to south, while in Genesis 13 he’s moving from the South Back to the Middle of the country. Why is he doing that?
*** He’s returning to a previous point of victory. ***
My dad and I used to take annual trips up to Michigan in the spring to go mushroom hunting for Morel mushrooms. Typically we’d bring back enough for 1 or 2 good meals, the rest we ate in camp. But we always enjoyed the trip. What always amazed me was my dad’s ability to find his way in the forest. We would walk literally for miles around the woods, finding these little mushrooms.
Most of the time you had to walk with your eyes to the ground or you’d never get any. I remember more than once wondering where we were, and wondering, even more importantly if we’d ever get back to camp. But my dad never seems to have gotten lost. If I would say something to him, he could easily climb a hill and point through the woods to some landmark he’d picked out, which would clearly mark our path back.