Friday, February 21, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Lessons on learning how to let go of a "Lot"

When you have a “Lot”: Learn how to let go through the story of Abraham

A devotional by Alexis Newlin

“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.” 
–Genesis 12:1-4a (ESV)

For a long time, I felt very stuck. There were promises that the Lord gave me, yet nothing changed. When I would come to the Lord to ask where He wanted me to go or wanted me to do, He led me to Deuteronomy 34. Moses was soon to die and the Israelites were about to cross over into the promised land. 

During my reading, this verse (Deuteronomy 34:4) stuck out to me: “And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

Then I felt God speak to me saying, “The former things can not come with you to the new place I am taking you.”

At the time, I thought I knew what God was talking about. I thought God was talking about my fear. As the year went on and things started to unravel, I soon learned what God meant. I had to let go of something, and it was very hard. However, as soon as I decided in my heart to let go of that thing, a stronghold was broken and God was able to move more freely in my life. Since letting that thing go, life has been much easier. I’ve received blessing after blessing and received clearer direction for where God wanted me to go and what He had for me.

Later on, while reading Abraham’s story, I realized that all that time, I was holding on to a “Lot.” It blocked me from my blessing! Read Genesis 12:1-4.

God made a huge promise to Abram: He would make him a great nation and bless him. This promise was a big deal; Abram had no offspring, he and his wife Sarai were old, and yet God still had big plans for him. All Abram had to do was to leave everything behind and go where God told him. Abram partially obeyed, bringing Lot with him.

This small detail brought big problems for Abram. There was discord between his workers, (Genesis 13:5-7) and Abram later had to rescue Lot (Genesis 14:8-16).

Keeping his ties to Lot caused more trouble than God intended for him. Abram’s partial obedience was actually disobedience which made it difficult for God to fully bless him.

However, each time Abram decided to separate from Lot, he was blessed. He was given good land and more promises, (Genesis 13:14-18), he was blessed by the high priest Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20), his name was changed and he received the blessings and promises of God (Genesis 17:1-8).

When God asks us to let go, the unknown can be scary. We must remember that God knows best and holds our future in His hands. When we let go of what we think is best, it opens the door for God to give us His best.

What are you holding onto?

Author Bio:

Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and hopes to launch her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

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