Sooner or later, all of us will face circumstances in our lives that bring crisis. The choices we make in times of crisis reveal the real content of our hearts. What marks all great men and women of God in the Bible is a tender heart toward God. It’s not that they lived perfect lives – the Bible is full of examples of people making mistakes and even grievously sinning against God. What made them great was a heart that was quickly broken over sin. We will never hopelessly fail if we maintain a tender heart toward God and order our lives according to God’s Word.
The choices we make in times of crisis reveal the real content of our hearts.
In Genesis 12, we find the account of Abram traveling from Canaan to Egypt to escape the famine. When he returned from Egypt, his nephew Lot was with him. Lot was supposed to be in the Ur of the Chaldees, but he followed Abram to Egypt, where they both got rich. The difference is Abram got right with God and experienced revival. Lot didn’t.
Abram was about to learn one of the costs of revival. Genuine revival can bring division, and Abram and Lot were about to part ways. Lot had been riding Abram’s coattails for a very long time. He was there to soak up the spiritual blessings and riches God had given Abram, but true faith in God had not become a reality in his life; it hadn’t permeated the fabric of his soul.
God instructed Abram in Genesis 12:1, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” God didn’t forget that Abram had only partially obeyed. We may think God doesn’t notice when we allow sin to linger, and we only partially obey. We might think, “It has been three weeks, and God hasn’t struck me dead – maybe I’ve gotten away with it.” But God does notice, and the day will come when God will finally say, “Time’s up!”
God forced a crisis in Abram’s life so he would finally do what he should have already done. Abram had gone as far as he could spiritually, and God wouldn’t take him any further until he was completely obedient. Crisis is nothing more than God at work in your life to bring about spiritual growth and revival.
God forced a crisis in Abram’s life so he would finally do what he should have already done.
These two men were now so wealthy they couldn’t continue together because the land couldn’t support both of their flocks. God had given Abram the land, but he allowed Lot the choice of where he wanted to settle. Here is the difference between these two men: Abram wanted what was best; Lot wanted what was best for him.
Lot chose to settle in the plain of Jordan. He made a logical career move that would mean disaster for his family. He pitched his tent toward Sodom, a wicked city beyond anything we could imagine. This is a very graphic first step in the destruction of Lot’s family to complete moral and spiritual degradation. And it all began with Lot’s worldly focus. Lot not only lived in Sodom, but he sat in the gate of Sodom, which meant he had become an elder of the city. Lot was a participant in the city, and it all started when he pitched his tent in the wrong direction. It’s called giving “place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
The only thing God had revealed to Abram up to this point was a general plan. But the moment Lot was gone, God showed him more. God doesn’t reveal the details of His plan for us while we’re still clinging to whatever He wants us to turn loose. As soon as Lot was out of the picture, God delivered specific details of a covenant He made with Abram years earlier. God had to force his hand for Abram to make the right decision.
God told Abram to “lift your eyes.” When God tells you to lift your eyes, you will see what He wants you to see – a spiritual vision for your life. When you lift your eyes, you won’t see what Lot saw, which were the temporal treasures of this world. You will see a spiritual vision with eternal treasures. This crisis had made Abram’s faith stronger and had firmed up his walk with God. And with a few exceptions, he would spend the rest of his life in perfect fellowship with God.
When God tells you to lift your eyes, you will see what He wants you to see — a spiritual vision for your life.
How do you deal with crisis in your life? What crisis will God have to bring for you to get to a place of complete surrender to Him? Crisis neither makes you nor breaks you — it simply reveals what is inside of you. In times of crisis, stay faithful to God’s Word. When you are obedient to God no matter the cost, God promises to bless you.