“‘All right, Lot. If you insist. I’ll let you have your way. And I won’t stamp out the town you’ve spotted. But hurry up. Run for it! I can’t do anything until you get there.’ That’s why the town was called Zoar, that is, Smalltown. The sun was high in the sky when Lot arrived at Zoar. Then God rained brimstone and fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah— a river of lava from God out of the sky!—and destroyed these cities and the entire plain and everyone who lived in the cities and everything that grew from the ground. But Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:21-26
We all have a past. We can look back at our lives and see past victories and failures. There were moments when we triumphed over the challenges that were before us; other times we shrunk back in fear. If you have lived longer than a day, you have a past.
Lot and his family were running away from their past by being obedient to God and leaving Sodom and Gomorrah. The place where they had lived was wicked, and God was bringing judgment. As they were leaving the city, they were struggling to follow God in obedience. Once they were away from Sodom and Gomorrah, God punished the city with fire. It seemed as if they were going to be spared until Lot’s wife looked back. Previously, God had given specific instructions for Lot and his family to not look back as they left. Instead of walking in obedience into the future, Lot’s wife couldn’t quite let go of where she had been. In the same way, our past, whether good or bad, wants to hold us hostage. But, the past is over. Some people’s past represents a time when they didn’t walk with God. The enemy would like to keep you there instead of your new life in Christ. Or, maybe the past for other people represents significant victories for the kingdom of God. Similarly, the enemy would like you to relive those moments instead of taking on new ground for the kingdom of God. No matter what your past resembles, we can’t keep looking back at our past and letting it define our future. We have to learn from the past, move on into God’s future for us, and don’t look back.