Locking my gaze in the right place.

Several weeks ago our pastor made a comment that grabbed my attention.  It had very little to do with the main point of his message, but I found it incredibly profound, and have been thinking about it ever since.  

He reiterated the story of Lot's wife to illustrate the consequences of disobedience, and said this:
"Her feet took her one way - her heart took her another."

And he is right!
Her feet were going the right way - towards obedience - where she would find the safety and security God promised Lot.
Her heart, however, kept looking back - toward the lure of sin that consumed the city - where she would be destroyed.

She KNEW what was going to happen!  There was no guessing, no ambiguity.  God had already promised He would spare her, her husband, and her daughters.  And He asked only one thing: Don't look back!

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”  Genesis 19

Lot asks to flee to a closer city, they say "yes" and he obeys.  
But his wife ...
instead of letting wisdom lead, she allowed her emotions to direct her steps ...
and the consequence was severe.

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.  Genesis 19

This is such a frustrating verse isn't it?  Lot's wife knew exactly what she was supposed to do - where to go - how to go.  And she blew it.  Why couldn't she just keep looking forward?!?
Because ...
"Her feet took her one way - her heart took her another."

This quote sounded poetic when it first touched my ears, but the more I thought about the words, they began to haunt me.  I couldn't figure out why until it hit me upside the head in a moment of clarity.
I am Lot's wife!!

I desire to love, honor, and obey God.
I want to look like Christ.
I KNOW what He requires of me.  He has given crystal clear instructions in Scripture.  There are no secrets, no surprises.
When sin is crouching at my door, I know where to flee for safety.
He tells me not to look back: But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13,14
And yet ... the lure of the world continually pulls me back, fighting to keep my focus on what it has to offer.  Because when I am looking at the world, I can no longer see my Savior.

And I am the only one who can choose where to lock my gaze.

Let your eyes look straight aheadfix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4

Oh, Lord - please, please, please teach me how to keep my heart, mind, and eyes fixed in the only place that offers joy, success, comfort, hope, wisdom, discernment, knowledge, total forgiveness, and truth ...
Your Son - Jesus Christ.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.  Hebrews 12

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