It’s not a sin to live in Sodom and Gomorrah, but Sodom and Gomorrah should not live in us. No matter the location, size or demographics of your city, the alluring pull of the world is ever-present. And with social media and the Internet, our city’s limits have expanded to vast dimensions – and so have the rivals for our hearts.
We were created to love, but we are warned “not to love the world nor the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). When we do, we marry our identity, purpose and affection to something other than Jesus. It’s as though we handcraft idols to worship and grant control of our lives. These modernized idols are usually not made of stone, wood or gold, but manifest in possessions, comfort, approval, accomplishment and control.
Regardless of how patiently and subtlety we may have been wooed – regardless of how adamantly we may deny possessing them – God is calling us to turn our back on these idols. We must destroy them by seeing them for what they are, breaking off the power we’ve granted them and looking to Jesus to set our hearts free. Jesus warns that we “cannot serve two masters.” We cannot wholly serve one without “hating” the other (Matthew 6:24).
Oh, you might selectively love God, but when His way and your expectation do not align, you will rebel and cling to your idol. God says to you, “Find contentment in Me. I know what is best for you,” but you answer with the voice of your idol, “I must have this – I deserve this – and since You will not give it to me, I will get it for myself.” A divided heart is always conflicted and never truly free to serve God. Wake up! See the chains enslaving you to these idols!
Consider Lot. He and his family actually lived in Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot was a city elder. And when God called them to leave before He judged those cities, He warned them to escape and “not look back” or they would also be swept away. But Lot’s wife did look back and lost her life (Genesis 19:17-26). Something behind her was more compelling to her heart than what lay ahead.
God has called us out. He has commanded us to turn from idols to serve the true and living God. By His gracious Spirit, He has empowered us to escape their lies and be set free in His truth. Jesus died and rose again to break these chains and bind our wandering hearts to Him. Why in the world would we look back?! But if we waver in heeding God’s warning, Jesus has three words to bring us to our senses: “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).
But that should not be our story. We are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul (Hebrews 10:39). It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).