Identity Theft: I’m A Product of My Environment

This is one of the most popular excuses for certain behaviors, tendencies, attitudes, and one’s state in life.  Unfortunately, this belief hinders us from progressing and experiencing God’s best.  It can range from abusive (physically, emotionally, sexually, or spiritually)  to a lack or void of role models.  We can’t choose our past but we determine our future. If He’s a God of reconciliation and restoration then that includes our entire life experiences.

Early on in Genesis, Abram and his nephew, Lot, go in difference directions to give their families more room.  Lot found himself settling down in Sodom, a terribly wicked city that God sent 3 angels to destroy. “Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city” (v.1). The very reason God had the entire Terah clan leave Ur was because of similar wickedness.  But he decided to “return” to his roots. “

Genesis 19:17-26 “Run for your lives!” the angels warned. “Do not stop anywhere in the valley. And don’t look back! Escape to the mountains, or you will die.”  “Oh no, my lords, please,” Lot begged.  “You have been so kind to me and saved my life, and you have granted me such mercy. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die.  See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”  “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy that little village.  But hurry! For I can do nothing until you are there.” From that time on, that village was known as Zoar.  The sun was rising as Lot reached the village.  Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah.  He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, eliminating all life — people, plants, and animals alike.  But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following along behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 

It’s up to us to either advance and grab a hold of God’s best or allow this world’s hindrances to hold us back.

External Hindrances. “But his wife looked back behind him and she became a pillar of salt.”
Lot’s wife wasn’t just looking back on Sodom.  She was pining for her home, way of life, security, things she trusted in, the things God wanted to destroy.  She was settling for less than God’s best.  We often look back as well.

  • Idols:  things that come between God and us.
  • Mistakes and Failures:  the things that elicit shame and defeat.
  • Things said to us:  comments that limit or sabatoge us.
  • Things we have no control over:  natural disasters, economy, other people’s unwise decisions.
  • Comfort zone:  what we’re used to and confident in.

What does salt represent?  That which is unproductive, useless, and death.   It’s so easy for any of us to become like that.  “’Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.’  But Jesus told him, Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:61-62)

Internal Hindrances “I cannot escape to the mountains lest some evil overtake me and I die.”

  •  “I’m Scared – God had just led them to safety yet they still didn’t trust Him. God doesn’t want you to fail
  • “I don’t believe You…I don’t trust you” – I’ll settle for what I’m familiar with, used to
  • “I don’t have enough information” – Why is this happening?  Where are we going?  How will we live?
  •  “I’ve got a better idea.  God your way isn’t making sense, lucky you got me to help you out.  You just said get out of the plain…how about I stay in the plain?  This city is near enough to flee to and it’s a small, insignificant place.”

A place called Zoar –  “which literally means a small place,” and another city God wanted to destroy.  How often, because of fear we SETTLE for the small things of the world.  God has amazing plans for us but we settle for good, ok, average, and mediocre.  Settle meansto concede to lesser terms; to move downward; sink or descend.  God has big, great, amazing things for us.

Start Climbing. “Escape to the mountains lest you be destroyed.”
“I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?  My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth!” (Psalm 121:1-2). Mountain are symbolic of God’s strength, power, and that He’s able.  It’s here where He promises us His:

  • Provision – He gives us whatever we need to get His plan accomplished
  • Protection – He insures safety and security for the journey
  • Presence  – He goes with us

Let that be a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness despite our ever swaying commitment to him.

“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me” – awesome quote from a terribly violent movie…

Think about these questions for a moment.
In what ways are you settling?
What is hindering you from experiencing His best?
What has God promised you at the top of the mountain?

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