Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled in the cities on the plain and set up his tent near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning immensely against the Lord. Genesis 13:12-13
Lot had a choice to live near Abram but he chose to live near Sodom. Living near Sodom meant that he set himself in an environment that was wicked. Wickedness became what he saw day after day. The more we behold something the more familiar it becomes. Evil became familiar to Lot because he was around it for a long time. There is a great danger in a believer’s life when evil begins to become normal.
Where we choose to live is important
Lot had a choice between two places in Canaan near Abraham, or in Sodom near the wicked. We have a choice of the places we choose to dwell in. sometimes we can find ourselves in environments that indirectly influence our choices. People don’t know that there are spiritual realities that control certain places. For example, we can find ourselves in places where the people who live there seem to fall into sexual immorality. Or marriages end in divorce. Or there is great poverty and lack. Or there is a bent toward godlessness and rebellion.
Sodom was controlled by evil and wickedness, this was the spiritual reality because the people in this city had given themselves to evil. So anyone who came near them was likely to fall into this wickedness by default. Before relocating or moving into new places let’s make a habit of asking God’s direction because we may not see what spiritual environment controls it.
A need for separation
God calls us to a life of separation. Not separated from the world around us that we have no influence in it, but a separation from things that would lead us away from God.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that a friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I sat it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Becoming a friend to God means we have abandoned all other loves.
James calls anyone who chooses to be a friend to this world an adulterer. We are adulterers because we have abandoned our covenant of marriage to God. We are like a spouse who has another wife. Why? Because we cannot have two loves, we cannot love this world and love God.
When we choose to be friends with the world- celebrating what the world celebrates, loving what the world loves, tolerating what God calls evil, applauding what is disgusting to God. Choosing to fit in rather than stand out for God. Choosing relevance rather than calling the world to repentance. God sees it as adultery against Him. And we become enemies of God.
Innocent concerning evil
Because Lot chose to live near the wicked, he had to look at evil every day. He was familiar with what was evil.
And if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked( for that righteous man lived among them day after day, tormented in his soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard). 2 Peter 2:7-8
Lot was tormented by looking at evil in Sodom. God had to rescue him from it. We can torment ourselves because we have exposed ourselves to what is evil. We can become wise in what is evil instead of being simple-minded about it. We can hang around wickedness until we become experts in it.
I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. Romans 16:19b
He repeats it again. Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults]. 1 Corinthians 14:20 AMP
He wasn’t saying that we should lack understanding in what is evil or life in general. But that we should have no part in it and maintain our innocence in Christ when it comes to evil.
Lot was ignorant in thinking he could live near Sodom and not be affected by their evil ways. He lacked an understanding that in order to be righteous he had to make a decision not to behold and tolerate what was evil.
In today’s world of access to everything and anything… We have to be wise in knowing how to protect our innocence when it comes to evil things. Through the Holy Spirit, we can be simple about what is evil and wise in what is good.