Entering God’s Perfect Will

Teena Myers
Teena Myers

Abram returned to the altar he drifted away from with a renewed conviction to obey God. But he had a problem. His failure to separate from his father’s house had complicated his life. He needed to separate from Lot to be in God’s perfect will.

Lot had been an intimate part of his uncle’s life since they were six years old. How could Abram obey God without ruining his relationship with a nephew who was more like a beloved brother? Not only had they grown up like brothers, the New Testament proves Lot shared Abram’s faith by calling him a righteous and godly man (2 Peter 2:7-9).

Lot followed Terah when they left Ur to go to Canaan. He remained in Haran till his grandfather died fifteen years later. Then he followed a partially obedient Abram to Canaan. He then followed a doubting, fearful Abram to Egypt and later returned to the altar at Bethel with a humbled Abram. After all these years and shared memories, how could Abram tell Lot he was a hindrance that needed to leave?

The truth is Lot was not the hindrance. Abram was the hindrance to Lot’s spiritual growth, like  Terah hindered Abram’s. Abram is not a perfect obedient child of God, but as he strived to follow God, he matured in his faith and grew rich in livestock, silver, and gold.[1] Following a flawed man who followed God stunted Lot’s spiritual growth and diminished his wealth. He grew rich in flocks, herds, and tents.[2] Lot followed a man who followed God and left a shameful legacy.

If we want to be in God’s perfect will, we must ask God for wisdom and discernment. If we rely on human wisdom, we can, as Abram might have done, cause major damage in our relationships with family, friends, and fellow believers. 

Abram did not need a plan to remove Lot. God already had a plan to bring Abram into his perfect will. Abram needed to discern the right time. God prepared the way for Abram to enter his perfect will when he made both men so wealthy, staying together became a problem. 

The opportune time to separate from Lot arrived when God’s blessings produced a quarrel among their employees. The land could not support both Abram’s livestock and Lot’s flocks and herds, so they met to resolve the problem.

Philippians 2:3-4 NAS95 (3) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; (4) do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

The last problem Abram dealt with brought his sinful nature to light. He was only concerned about what others could do to keep him alive. This time the way Abram solved a problem revealed a more mature godly nature.

Genesis 13:8-11 NAS95 (8) So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.

(9)  “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.” (10)  Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. (11)  So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other.

Abram pursued a peaceful solution to stop the quarreling by putting Lot’s interest before his own. Lot made a business decision designed to increase his wealth. He chose the best land for his flocks and herds. He then separated his possessions from Abram’s and departed willingly and happily for the well-watered plains of the Jordan, thinking he had hit the jackpot, and pitched his tent near Sodom. Choosing the best for himself without regard for Abram’s needs did not end well for Lot.

2 Peter 2:7-8 NAS95 (8) (for by what he [Lot] saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds)

While Lot lived in Sodom “tormented day after day”, Abram finally entered God’s perfect will for his life.

[1] Genesis 13:2 NAS95 (2)  Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.

[2] Genesis 13:5 NAS95 (5)  Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.

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