“When Lot lingered. . .”
Genesis 19:16, NIV

The story of Lot is a very revealing and relevant story. The Bible makes it clear that Lot was a saved man bound for heaven (2 Peter 2:7). Yet, the Bible tells us that Lot lingered where he did not belong. Lot’s lingering caused him a great deal of pain just like our lingering causes us great pain. The Bible warns us to throw off the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12). Yet, many of us are like Lot. We avoid the warnings of the Bible and linger in places where we do not belong.

The Bible says because Lot lingered he was “distressed” and “troubled” by the filthy lives of people. Our lingering also causes our own distress in life. This distress wears us down and dulls our spiritual sensitivity.

Why do we linger in places we do not belong? People linger because they desire the blessings of the world more than the blessings of God. They want to blend in with the world instead of stand out from it. They choose to tolerate sin instead of flee from it. They waver between their options instead of making a decision to follow God.

Lingering is detrimental to our spiritual maturity, but it also detrimental in other ways. Lot’s life was worth nothing among the people of Sodom. He had no influence, no respect, and no honor. Lot was neither salt nor light to the people around him. Lot failed his family. His wife looked back because she cared more for her life in Sodom than she did the life ahead of her. And his daughters revealed the wickedness in Genesis 19 when they practiced the sin of Sodom by sleeping with their father.

The price of lingering is a high price to pay. Lot paid it. Are you? One interesting twist on the idea of lingering is when Jesus asked His disciples to linger with him for one hour in prayer. How long has it been since you have lingered with God in prayer, in worship, in fellowship with God’s people, and in the Bible?

QUESTION: Where are you lingering? Is it in a place where you do not belong? Or is it with Jesus?