When I open Facebook and a memory photo pops up at the top of my feed, I am instantly reminded of my past–the good, the not so good, and the downright embarrassing! The purpose of these reminders, of course, is to get us to repost, share with others and feed the Facebook algorithms tracking what people are doing, talking about, etc.
In an instant, we usually do one of two things:
- Ignore the memory and quickly scroll down to get the 411 on current stuff, or
- Share the memory and remind the world (and ourselves) of who we were and what we were doing on that day in history.
Sure, history has its place and memories are great to share when they celebrate life and give God glory, but Christians have no business posting memories that glorify a past life of sin.
When I see people reaching back to where God brought them from, it breaks my heart. I’ve been there and I know it reveals a place in their heart that is still holding on to darkness. Darkness has no place in light.
The picture of Lot’s wife turning to a pillar of salt after escaping death in the land of death has always broken my heart. Sometimes I wonder why God didn’t extend His mercy once again, but then I remember, God knows our hearts. Lot’s wife reminds me of how foolish our hearts can be when we, even for an instance, consider lightly the death that God overcame for our eternal salvation.
Facebook memory makes it easy to bring to the forefront of our minds places from where God has delivered us. However, Facebook is not to blame.
Our hearts are the problem and our weakness in spirit, our distance form God, makes us vulnerable to the strategy of the enemy. ‘Look at how much fun you were having here. Remember this song, how you got so crazy when you heard it?’ Really, what we should be doing is thanking God for delivering from those places!
There are plenty of memories to celebrate, but for many of us, our timelines include some people, places, behaviors, attitudes, language that we ought not look back to.
How often do we celebrate something in the past that was disgusting or heartbreaking to our Father, Jesus Christ? Maybe it was a song we used to listen to or a picture revealing a way we no longer live. What’s worse is that we don’t just look at it and move on, many of us allow our thoughts to stay in that moment, look back with fondness, “share” or “repost” on Facebook, and suddenly we give a new, fresh place for sin in our current lives. So, in a scrolling list of your current posts, you might find Scripture memes, encouraging prayers, and a shared memory of a YouTube link to a song glorifying drugs, fornication, violence, and so on.
Even after the Lord overthrew the cities of Sodom and Gommorah and all their inhabitants, Lot’s wife looked back to the sin. She became a pillar of salt. All that she could have testified about! How she could have been salt and light to her children who later carried on her same perversion for sins of the past! Yet, she looked back to what God had set behind her.
What God has delivered us from, we have no, absolutely no, business going back to, not even for a moment. It only takes one moment for our hearts to reconnect with that guilty pleasure and then for it to become our fatal error.
Proverbs 26:11 states, “As a dog returns to his vomit so is a fool that returns to his folly.”
We can’t take God’s Word so lightly as did Lot’s wife. She was told explicitly, “Do not look back,” but somewhere deep in her heart, which the Lord knew, she didn’t want to leave her sin completely. Her heart still had affection, desire, for sin whose wages are death.
What is your heart desiring today? Do you find yourself “glorying” in your past, thinking fondly of the days when you, yourself, were living in sin?
Dont return to the vomit of your past lest you find yourself down on all fours like a dog lapping it up and dying in that place from where God delivered you yesterday, last month, last year.
Reach out now for the God of Abraham, the same who made a way for Lot’s family to escape fire and brimstone. No good will come of you looking back.
Jeremiah the prophet warns,”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9).
Instead of looking back, drop to your knees and cry out to Jesus, “Father, cleanse me of all unrighteousness, create in me a clean heart, restore to me the joy of my salvation” (See Psalms 51). Help me to set my mind on things above and not on things of the earth (Col. 3:2).”
Be real with yourself in this. I spent years going back to the bondage of sin, places of God’s deliverance, and no good ever came from it. Each time I reached back in my thought, my heart engaged, my mind recreated, and my behavior soon followed in some way.
Thankfully, Jesus is longsuffering of my foolish ways and has been so merciful to me. Today, I am more aware of the miracle of salvation and protective of the treasure I find in God’s presence.
There is no guarantee of tomorrow, yea, the next second, for any of us. The instant Lot’s wife disobeyed the Lord, she died in her sin. The Bible records no repentance, only disobedience and death. She left behind daughters who later seduced their father, Lot, after getting him drunk and laying with him. What was birthed from that family became the relentless enemies of Israel, the nations of Moab and Ammon.
What can you gain by looking back for one moment to sin and destruction? Nothing but some and destruction.
Don’t look back. It’s not worth the risk. Your future, your eternity depends on you looking forward to what God has placed before you. Look forward and hold yourself accountable to the Word of the Lord. He says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). I am thankful that His commandments keep me!”