Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Genesis 13:8-12
Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.

Have you ever had a disagreement? Of course you have, and so have I. Disagreements come often in life, and along with disagreements can easily come disappointment. Disappointment comes in when our feelings are hurt or our expectations are not met. It’s in the midst of these times that the Lord teaches us to die to ourselves and come alive to His will. Learning that life is not all about me is a tough lesson. Abram (his name would later be changed to Abraham) had to learn this lesson the hard way, right in the middle of a disagreement between he and his nephew Lot and their herdsmen.

Abram had taken Lot in, allowed him to travel with the family, and supported him in his journey, and now this little ungrateful dude and his jealous herdsmen are whining about who ought to get the best pasture land! If I was Abram I might have been just a little perturbed to say the least! However, his response is remarkable. Instead of getting upset and demanding his rights, he laid down any thought of entitlement or privilege and chose to allow Lot to go first. He allowed Lot to choose what seemed at the time like the best pasture land while he went the opposite direction.

Oswald Chambers once said you are not ready to serve God until you are willing to be the doormat for other people. It’s no fun being walked on, but when you are doing it in submission to Christ it’s an entirely different story. The man most in control is the one who can submit to others. Jesus said the greatest among you will be your servant. Meekness is not weakness, it’s power under control, and the best example of this is our Lord Jesus Christ who left heaven, laid aside His privileges, and humbly died on the cross for our sins (Phil 2:6-8). I adjure you today by the living God to not let disagreement and/or disappointment be an opportunity for the flesh. When you are your spouse disagree, choose humility. When that co-worker shows you up or calls you out in a meeting in front of everyone, choose grace. When your child totally ignores your wishes and disobeys your rules, choose patience. Let others go first, let them choose the land, let them see submission in you. This will completely rewrite the script for them. Oh, and by the way, Abram ended up in the land of blessing and Lot in the land of sin and destruction. Trust God…serve…submit…humble yourself…and He will bless.

Lord, today I know that I may very well face disagreements and disappointments of various kinds. Oh Jesus, help me know today that life is not about me. Today, I humble myself before You and place my life in Your hands. I know you will vindicate your servant and never allow me to be ashamed. I know you will bless when I choose sacrifice. Thank you Jesus! It’s in Your name I pray, amen.

Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.