How Looking Back Can Stop God's Will

woman looking away

Fifteen words in the Old Testament share the story of Lot's wife. This brief record of her life has placed her in the history of well-known women in the world. "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26 nkjv).

In the New Testament we find three words, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32 nkjv). Jesus was speaking to His disciples about the final judgment. Each time I read this scripture, I sense an urgency in my spirit.

Lot's family had been blessed and prospered by the hand of God. They had been in close relationship with Abraham and Sarah. They had a good foundation, but they still chose to move to Sodom, knowing that it was a wicked city. There they learned to enjoy the way of the world, the "good life," and the materialistic pleasures soon captured their hearts and minds.

Lot's wife heard the warnings of destruction to the city she loved, but she did not heed them. She did not discern the signs of the time. She loved the city and her life of pleasure. As she lingered, the angel had to take her hand and lead her outside the city, urging her to keep moving, don't look back and escape to the mountains so you will not be destroyed!

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Instead of being thankful for her salvation, she looked back and lingered on the past, and did not receive the grace of God.

We do not know the personal details of her life—where she was born, when she married, what her background was, or even her name. Yet she made her mark in history. The world still talks about Lot's wife.

It was a heart issue. That means we are all vulnerable to the same problem. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23 nkjv).

We must value and protect our mind, emotions and will. Our mind is the gateway to the heart. "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:24-27 nkjv). Your mouth, lips, eyes and feet are the physical symbols for communication, attention and behavior.

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 nkjv, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." How do we guard our heart and establish our way? How do we keep from the deadly, over-the-shoulder glance that indicates a heart not set on Him?

As we fill our hearts with the Word of God, we become established in the ways of God. The Holy Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26). As we learn to listen and follow the voice of the Lord (John 10:4), He will lead us by the still waters. He will shelter us and keep us in peace.

We first have to make the choice that we want to know God and follow Him. Just as God desired to deliver Lot's wife, she had to choose to heed the warning. Our life is composed of our choices and constructed by our words. If you are full of the world, bitterness and hate, you will not make wise choices. God desires to deliver you from the hurts and heartaches of life. Life is full of pain, but misery is optional to the woman of God.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13 nkjv).

God sent angels to take Lot's wife by the hand (Genesis 19:16) to make "a way of escape" for her. She had been compelled to leave the city, but the city was still in her heart. She gave in to the temptation of just one more glance, and paid the price with her life.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16 nkjv). I believe we need to take heed to the words of Jesus, "Remember Lot's Wife" and study this scripture in Luke 17:32.

As we look around us today, do you not see the signs of the times? God has made the way of escape. His name is Jesus. Choose this day whom you will serve.

Joyce Tilney is Founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is author of three books. For more information visit her websites: and

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