Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dangers of Choosing Self Interest above God's Purpose

Text: Genesis 13, 14 and 19 Rev. (Mrs) Oyenike Areogun 
Our choices determine our final outcomes in life. We have seen Esau’s carnal choice and in this edition we will consider the carnal choice of Lot.

Lot’s problem began when started making decisions based on himself. Lot was a young boy whose uncle Abraham took along after his father and grandfather died. The first thing that happened to Lot was that, he started separating property for himself. As you are growing older, check your heart and see certain things that you have started desiring for yourself, in career, financially, mentally and other aspect of your life. Be careful for these things because the enemy is going to use them as a contention against your destiny.

A brother in church was going to marry a lady and like our custom in the church we needed to see the lady. He proposed to her two years earlier with no success but after she learnt of his opportunity to travel abroad, she gave a positive reply. When he informed me about the sister’s consent, I said “okay who won’t say yes?” So I said let us have a chat with the lady and when the lady came, she said she had her list. She would go ahead rating people with her list, just like I had my own list also, although not like hers, but an image in my heart of the kind of husband I would like to marry and the person God brought for me did not that description at all. Be careful about what is forming your will, because things you desire now and allow to influence you will form your will. Things that press you now to take action will affect your decision.

Lot separated properties. Everything he did was because of himself. He never prayed asking “God, what’s your plan, why am I attached to this man to go with him?” If he did God would have told him about the covenant on Abraham. He was busy planning for himself. Don’t plan for yourself. The plan that God had for you is greater than anything you can ever plan for yourself. One day God spoke to me, “what I will you is far, far greater than what you can ever get for yourself, so wait for me”. Lot began to have separate proper ties, which led to the strife that removed him from favour and divine covering under Abraham.

What are the secret plans of your heart? What desires are already forming in your heart that you have left unchecked? If you look at Jacob and Esau, the bible says Isaac loved Esau because he prepared venison for him and Rebecca loved Jacob. Of course the way they went about it was crooked but what gave birth to Rebecca’s love for Jacob was the word that came to her. “Two nations are in your womb, the elder will serve the younger”. So she loved Jacob because of the choice of God but for Isaac, the venison blocked him from perceiving who God chose among the two. If not for what Rebecca did, despite the fact that God’s choice was Jacob, Isaac could have gone ahead and blessed Esau and would have turned God’s programme upside down. You also have to be careful what you love secretly.

Be careful about the secret love in your heart because it will form the bedrock of your will that will determine your will in life. Lot chose the wrong option of separating from Abraham. Abraham said, “why don’t you and I’ll go to the left, we don’t need to fight, we are brethren”. And Lot took the option. He could have said, “No uncle, I don’t want that, we are together, we can solve this problem”, rather he chose separation because he was thinking of himself. Lot must have thought in his heart “yes, I will now have breathing space, afterwards I have enough things”. Don’t make yourself the goal of your choices. Make God the goal of your choices because He will secure a great future for you in every way and at all times.

Lot chose the well watered places of the plain of Jordan, not knowing that was Sodom and Gomorrah. In verse ten of chapter 13 when Abraham suggested separation to Lot, the bible says “And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plains of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…” The grass was very green and he chose it for himself but God was not in it. He simply calculated with his eyes saying, “this will be a good place for my animals, this will be a good place for me, I don’t need to go down the valley, it’s a plain, it will be good for me”. And he stayed there. You cannot make decisions about your future on what you see today because bible says, things that are temporal whereas, the things that you cannot see (but God can see) are those that determine the future. They are things that are eternal. Lot chose the watered plain; he didn’t know he was choosing Sodom and Gomorrah. That’s the danger of choosing for yourself based on what you see today, based on selfish interests. The plain that looks well watered today may be Sodom and Gomorrah destined for destruction by fire tomorrow.

When Sodom and Gomorrah was due for destruction, and the angels asked Lot and his house to escape to the mountain, he chose somewhere else (Gen. 19:17-20), saying he was afraid, evil beast could kill him there. Can you see, Lot had developed a life of making decisions based on his self-interest. If God told him to escape to a mountain, He must have considered the possibility of beasts attacking him. But Lot was making provision for himself outside of God’s provision. Lot went to another place where there was no other man and his daughters came up with a satanic idea saying, “There’s no human being again on the face of the earth” and they decided to sleep with their father and have children by him. Lot kept on making decisions based on himself and his selfish interest instead of the overall programme of God that would have secured a great future for him on the earth and eternally. You should understand that spiritual choices affect this life and eternity.

When Jesus went about his three-and-a-half year’s ministry and spoke to those disciples saying “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”, they didn’t know they were securing for themselves a powerful apostolic ministry on the earth and a powerful position in heaven, an eternal place. There is going to be a special seat for the twelve apostles of the lamb that you and I cannot occupy because we were not with them.

The consequences of Lot’s carnal choice were very severe. The first thing that happened to him was that he was taken captive. There was no fight in surrounding places but in Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot went; everybody was taken captive with everything he had. God had to use the same Abraham that he separated from to restore him and bring him back. God was giving him a chance for repentance but he didn’t take it. God is a God of another chance. Regardless of the mistakes you have made, God will always leave an open door for your return, and you must always take that opportunity.. all the pleasantness that lured Lot away from Abraham and the properties he gathered were all burnt with fire. He couldn’t pack anything because they had to hurry out, himself, the wife and his two daughters.

My husband always asks, “What will you be doing in 16 years’ time?” These questions are meant to show you that the decisions you make today will determine whether everything you gathered in the last five years will get burnt in the next ten years or you will be waxing stronger, moving on in the things of the Lord. Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt, but when they loved each other and exchanged marital vows, he didn’t he was marrying a pillar of salt. He didn’t know he was choosing woman who will set a negative record in biblical history; the only person that became pillar of salt. There were never anyone like that before her and there will never be another after her and even Jesus referred to her in the gospel. He said, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

Are you choosing a wife today that is going to become a pillar of salt in a decade from now? Is your wife going to look back? God instructed them, don’t look back, don’t turn right just escape to the mountain. When she got along the way, she remembered something, probably the money she lent someone that was yet to be repaid. Maybe some trinkets she left behind. We know however that whatever she remembered was weightier in her heart above the instructions God gave her. She turned back, she didn’t turn forward again. She just decomposed into a pillar of salt. You need to ask yourself, based on the decision today, are you choosing a pillar of salt for a spouse? Whenever you are making a choice, don’t think of today, think of tomorrow. When you are making a choice, don’t think of what you can see in that thing today, think of the potential, think of what is going to become of that thing tomorrow.

A sister got engaged to a brother on the campus and when they were to graduate, the brother had an extra year and then stayed back in school. The sister went to serve and she felt “well I can’t cope, I can’t continue.” She forgot whatever God told her about the relationship. You know when you go to NYSC camp, you will see all kinds of brethren and that’s why people always want to get engaged before they leave school. Final year brethren come under pressure, but you shouldn’t come under pressure. You are still going to meet more brothers and sisters than you have ever met, don’t if you don’t get engaged now, you may not find someone to settle with.

The worst place to get engaged is the NYSC camp except God has arranged it for you like that. This is because you don’t know where those people are coming from. And some people come to camp for the sole purpose of hooking a sister or a brother, and if you are hook able, it will be too bad. What are you choosing today? What will it turn to in five years’ time? Have you asked yourself? Thank God that the rate at which students dying on campus has gone down. There was a time it was very rampant. They shot this one here, they shot that one there. Maybe God doesn’t want them on that campus. Maybe it was another place that they should go to where their lives will be preserved. But they chose based on “my friend has gone there, I must go there too or it’s close to my uncle’s office, so I can be going there to collect money.” They must have made decisions based on their selfish interest instead of the overall plan of God for their lives. You won’t lose your life in Jesus’ name. Lot’s two daughters became perverted because a daughter sleeping with a father was unheard of in Israel. It was not part of the Jewish heritage; it was an abomination, they must have picked that idea from Sodom. They picked it from Gomorrah because Sodom and Gomorrah were extremely given to immorality, sodomy, lesbianism and homosexuality. Everything about sexual perversion and immorality was found in Sodom and Gomorrah, it was too much, God couldn’t stand them, He had to destroy them with fire to show His anger against their sinful acts. Lot chose the watered gardens so that his animals would eat to survive and then his animals could become more in number than Abraham’s. That was his intention not knowing he has chosen a land that would negatively disciple his daughters into sexual perversion. As a result, Lot came out with two perverted daughters. There is no gain in carnal choice. The only gain is the satisfaction of your appetite in the plate of pottage, and after five minutes, it is over. That is the only effect that carnal choice is going to have in your life. Every other thing is damaged.

Where did his children come up with that idea? Who told them that there was no other person on that earth? What of Abraham and his own family? Even if there were no other people but they know that Abraham was not dead. He had many male servants, many maids, many servants and many people around him that were still living on the earth, but the devil had perverted them. That was what they learned in Sodom and Gomorrah and that’s why you need to pray ahead when you are going to school. Pray concerning your room mates, don’t just assume that you always live with anybody. My husband always talks about developing a strong spirit. There is positive strong spirit, positive weak spirit, living in a room with somebody with a negative strong spirit, he will over power you in that room with his deeds and before you know what is happening, you can come under that influence. The place where you are, you can get influenced by the spirit of the land if you don’t generate a greater force in your own spirit to dominate the spirit of the land and on the campuses where there are terrible spirits and multinational spirits that bring from different places that they have been to.

Do you notice a strange atmosphere when school just resumes, they are coming with all sorts of demons, principalities and powers from different places and when your spirit is weak, strange ideas, and strange thoughts begin to occur to you. You want to begin to a[pear like unbelievers, you want to begin to do what they do and if you don’t control your thoughts and overwhelm you, you’ll begin to behave like that. Lot’s daughters produced children for him, can you imagine that? Can you imagine getting pregnant for your father and actually giving birth to those children? Will you be able to tell them their father is the same as their grandfather?

It was a serious abomination and those whose children became a cursed forever, “Moab and Ammon” and you know they were the ones that came against Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. See how God came out against them terribly to wipe them out. Carnal choices give birth strange seeds that God rises up to cut off in the future! You will not be cut off in Jesus’ name. the work of your hand will not be destroyed in Jesus’ name. Each time I read this place, and I look at the life of Lot, I pity him because the loss was too much and the choices he made weren’t worth his losses.

Question and Answer

Question: Is it right for women in some Penticostal churches who don’t cover their heads in the church and some Obas who put on small caps in the church?

Answer: 1 Cor. 11:1-16 answers this question. If you read this passage, you will know that what people assume does not matter, matters. It matters so much that God allowed Paul to write about.

4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth hi s head.

5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

10. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

13. Judge in yourselves; is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

The issue of covering your head as a woman or not is primarily about during spiritual activities, not at all times. Whenever you are involved in spiritual activities such as prophesying (which happens most times in the house of the Lord), cover your head as a woman and uncover your head as a man. This matter does not affect your salvation but it affects your relationship with the spirit realm. This means for example that if the symbol of authority on a woman is not there while praying, it will affect the operations of the angels.

In verse 13 of I Cor. 11, comely or proper has to do with maturity. Therefore, it is immature as a Christian woman to pray without covering her hair. It is spiritual rebellion and a doctrine of the devil aimed at robbing people of the total provision of God. No one should violate God’s instruction that are written clearly on the pages of the Bible. Remember that American culture is not the Bible.


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