How to Move Forward After Loss

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. (Gen 12:1-4 ESV)

When we first meet Abraham, we find him on the backside of the desert.  Acts 17:1-5 tells us God called Abram while in Mesopotamia. Upon leaving his country, Abram took his family--his father, Terah; his wife, Sarai and Lot with him.  However, God's told Abram to leave his country and his kindred.  Lot was the son of Abram's brother, Haran, who had died years earlier. To you and I, God's instructions seem clear: leave your kindred. Clearly, Lot was "kin." Why did Abram take him? Perhaps he took him for the same reasons you and I might have--he was family.  Lot was  his nephew. Maybe he assumed responsibility for raising him following his father's death. It would have been the noble and honorable thing to do. In addition, Abram had no sons of his own…. There was no one child of of his own loins to carry on his legacy. He was 75 years old! I'm thinking he may have thought Lot was the next best thing to a real heir. Why does Lot matter in this story?  

What Lot represents....

The security of the familiar

Lot was family. Abram would have watched him grow up, play and interact with other family members.  In all likelihood, he would have had his own bond with Lot. By taking Lot with him, there would be a male family member to whom he could entrust his legacy, his possessions, and his wife if he preceded her in death.

The crutch of dependency

Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by the familiar when called upon by God to do something new and unknown. Lot represents a dependence on the things we know and the things we are comfortable doing. Those crutches in our lives may be indicators of our unwillingness to move forward when God says "Go."

The bondage of insecurity

Lot represents a spirit and mindset we bring with us to shore up and reinforce our insecurities. Lot gives us value, makes us feel noble, and validates that we have a purpose and responsibility. The subtlety of the deception is that we begin patting ourselves on the back about what we're doing when, in fact, we may be far from the will of God.

What it means to leave Lot and move forward….

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly. Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him,“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Gen 17:1-7 ESV)

It means trusting that God's Word to you is for you (even when you worry you might have to do it alone). With Lot's departure, God re-engages His dialogue with Abram about the blessing He intends for him. As he stands alone before the Lord, Abram can embrace the truth of the word God has spoken to him. He can prepare to move forward in the blessings God has for him.

It means renewing your focus on your own intimacy with God; your closeness to Him doesn't depend on anyone else. Abram falls on his face in humility and worship. God begins to share His heart regarding his future and the legacy of his faith.

It means embracing the reality that God meant “you” when He made the promise. God changes Abram's name to Abraham (father of a multitude). He will also change Sarai's name to Sarah (princess). He speaks over Abraham the blessings of descendants, land and an eternal inheritance. The sovereign Creator of the universe is establishing a covenant with Abraham. Man's praise or approval can't trump what is happening in his life.

I want to encourage you today with the truth that God has a plan for your life, and He is on your side. Don't allow a false sense of security, unreliable dependencies, or insecurity to keep you from #movingforward. Our God is faithful! In Luke 24:38, Jesus asked the disciples, "Why are you frightened…why are your hearts filled with doubt?" Let the truth of God's Word resonate in your heart; let go of the past and begin moving forward.

Stay close to Him. Live beautiful.