The Woman With No Name
Don’t Look Back, Faith Looks Forward
Luke 17:31-33, NCV; Genesis 19:26, NKJV; Matthew 5:13, NCV1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV; Matthew 6:33, NKJV; 1 John 5:16, NKJVI.
Ladies do not look back.
God will always move you forward until He brings you home. Satan will always try to bring you backward until He can destroy you. When God moves you forward don’t like anything get in your way. Stop trying to be young again. Stop allowing Satan to make you feel guilty about past sins that you have asked forgiveness and forsaken. Don’t bring past sin into your present relationships.
When the Lord says leave–leave. Where the Lord leads, I will follow. (Genesis 19:12, CEV)
Listen to the Lord, leave before what you are doing destroys you. (Genesis 19:14-18, CEV) What is God going to have to do to get our attention? God wants to lead, guide, and protect us. It will cost us financially, physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually if we are out of touch with God. When we allow God to build our marriage and careers, we will be successful. (Psalm 127:1-2, NKJV) Run for your life. Run to God, not away from Him. (1 Corinthians 6:18, TLB1 Corinthians 9:26, NCV;1 Corinthians 10:14, NCV)
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:01):
If you only knew how nice it was to see real people. Amen? My goodness gracious. I’ve been preaching for about like a year, but it’s only been about eight weeks, just to a camera. Now if you’re online, I am glad you’re online. But I also like to see real people. Amen? So, it is good to see everybody. That’s exciting. And now I’m trying to look twice because you all got your masks on. Had to start figuring out who singing.
James Greer (00:21):
Well we had a series been going on, it’s called wonderful women. Now the woman I’m preaching about today, is not necessarily so wonderful. There’s a couple of verses that I have for all of us, but especially women. It says in Psalms 139:14 says, I will praise you for I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are your works and that my soul knoweth very well. So, we got to remember this the way we’re made, just the way we look, God made us that way. We should enjoy and praise God for it. Amen? I’ve been waiting to hear that so long. And then there’s 3 John 1:4 and it says, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. And we actually had baptism today. They have been the third, second or third generation. I was in the back celebrating and Cindy Price walks up and says, guess what that says about you? How old you are. I said, I’m back there celebrating. But, when your children walk in truth, whether it’s our kids or grand kids, Amen? It’s still a celebration. So we’ve got it going on.
James Greer (01:16):
Well, the woman I’m preaching about today really doesn’t even have a name. But the theme today is don’t look back, faith looks forward. And this is something you want to remember over and over again. You can’t go back to the beginning, but you can change the end. And it doesn’t matter what area it is in your life. Philippians, Paul, he was in jail in Philippians 3:13 and he said this, he says, my friends, I don’t feel like I’ve already arrived there. I’m not where I want to be, but there’s one thing for sure. I’m going to forget what is behind. I’m going to tell you, if you’re here today, we all have things in our past. We just need to put it behind us and forget it. Amen? I struggle for what is ahead. And then he tells us what’s ahead. And the next verse, verse 14 he says, listen, I run towards the goal. I can win the prize of being called to heaven. Now I’ve read that verse. Well, I studied Philippians. I preached through the book of Philippians. I never realized that it was a prize to be called to heaven. And it says this is the prize that God offered because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. And I’m telling you what, it’s unbelievable that God calls a prize when we can go to heaven. We’ve got too many people that have continued to look back instead of look forward what God has for them.
James Greer (02:15):
And so we’re going to say today, we’re going to look forward. So in Luke 17:31 it says this, remember lot’s wife! Doesn’t even have a name. Those who try to keep their lives will lose it. But those who give up their lives will save it. So, you see what I almost called the message. You ready? Mama don’t look back. Mama don’t look back. What? What happened to lot’s wife? We know when she looked back, she turned to a pillar of salt. In Genesis 19:26 it says, but his wife looked back behind him and she became a pillar of salt. Well, I’ve often wondered about this pillar of salt thing. What was that example of? What was the pillar of salt an example of? Let me read Matthew 5:13 and let me give you the example of the pillar of salt. You are the salt of the earth. It didn’t say you should be or you might be if you’ve accepted Christ, it says you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste and it can’t be made salt again, and so it’s good for nothing except to just be thrown out and walked on. Now what I’d like to do is give you a kind of an illustration of what that means. Okay?
James Greer (04:40):
Imagine this being 10 gallons. Here’s a glass. Now, I actually tried this last night and drank it. I know, if you pour just a teaspoon of salt, just in this glass, you’re ready? And you fill it with this water and you get Cecil to drink it. No. Private joke, that’s pretty good. I can guarantee you, even though there’s been polluted with one glass, you can still taste the salt. Amen? But if you do the same thing and imagine this being five gallons, 10 gallons, and you take the same amount of salt and you put it in there, guess what? You can’t hardly taste it. Now, I’m going to tell you last night I actually put the salt in there. I shook the water up and I’m like, I’ll do that today. And I actually tasted it. And you couldn’t even hardly tell there was salt in it. But just imagine if there was a lot of salt in here and you tried to taste it, you couldn’t even hardly tell that it was salt. He said, what does all that mean? I don’t know. It says it means that Lots wife turned into a pillar of salt.
James Greer (06:17):
We know that we say so many times, once saved, always saved, Amen? Thank goodness for that. Yet, so many times salt can be diluted like this salt and when it’s really diluted, if as many gallons, it becomes useless. So, a Christian can lose their witness, unless they’ve become, and no longer a witness for God. They’re so diluted with the world. One translation says they have become foolish, they lose their saltiness. It seems to be effective. So, Lot’s wife became foolish and she lost her effectiveness. And so that was an illustration. So, that’s what Lot’s wife did. So as we read about it, we can know, we can imagine what happened. She got so polluted with the world that she wasn’t effective anymore for God.
James Greer (06:27):
That’s why we’ll find out later on there is a sin. That’s a sin unto death. God, just convicts you, convicts you, convicts you, often sends people to warn you. With Lot, it was an angel. And a lot of times we don’t treat them that way, and just lose your saltiness and your influence and your usefulness. And instead of running to God, you keep running back to where you were before.
James Greer (07:32):
Some people don’t even know what their purpose is. Our purpose after we saved is not simply to go to God and get what we want. Some people say, man, we get saved and God’s kind of like saved, oh man, I’m saved now. Just go to God and he’s going to give me everything I want. It just doesn’t work that way. When we get saved, it’s for us to bring honor and glory to God. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, it says, therefore, whether you eat or drink, in other words, it doesn’t matter where you work, what you do and what you eat, and where ever you are going. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. That also means in sickness and in health and in job and in school.
James Greer (08:12):
I’ve never seen it happen like we have in our church. I’ve never seen so many be sick. I’ve never seen so many people get cancer. Is that Janice and Ray, I thought that was you back there. She just had a tumor removed in her brain. Yeah. Janice did and Randy just got over the virus. She’ll be going to MD Anderson I hope soon, very soon. But you know, whatever it is in sickness and in health, I’ve seen her live it out. She’s still bringing honor and glory to God. I’ve never seen it in all the years that I’ve been in, I’ve never seen many people have cancer. Whether it’s Fred and Ashley, Tony and Janet, and I could just go on and on. Kenny’s got it. I just found out Diane, Dallas and David Coleson and another one too that I have. I mean it just goes on and on, but what I’m trying to say is says, our purpose in life is to bring honor and glory to God. And they are bringing honor and glory to God no matter what’s going on in their life. Amen? They are the real heroes today that we don’t see any more and they’re living it out. Amen?
James Greer (09:28):
Philippians 1:22 is a wonderful verse for us to remember. Paul was writing. He’s in jail. He says, for me to live is going to be for Christ. He said, for me to die is going to be gain. But, what Paul was saying is, we got to understand what our purpose is. Our purpose, like in Matthew 6:33 it says, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. As I said, everything else will be added, become totally dependent on God and for him to meet every need in your life. And then let him further your kingdom because you’ve got to be careful. Because Lot’s wife didn’t do that. Lot’s wife was kind of a picture of 1 John 5:16 that people often say, well what does that mean? It says, if anyone sees his brothers sinning. The sin, which is not unto death, he will ask him and he will give him a life for those who commit the sin. That’s not unto death. There is a sin though, that is into death. You know what it says? I pray that you shouldn’t pray for that one. So, does the Bible say there is a sin unto death? Yes or no? Amen. And so that’s what happened to Lot’s wife, I believe Lot’s was wife was saved, I believe lot’s wife was delivered some Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot’s wife kept looking back.
James Greer (10:26):
So, point 1, men and women, let’s don’t look back. Faith always looks forward. You can’t go back to the beginning, but you can change the end. Way, way too many men and women, they just keep looking back. And they’re trying to go back when God’s trying to bring them forward. You can’t drive your car looking back. You can’t live your life looking back. You can’t go forward in your marriage, in your ministry with your family and keep going back. That’s kind of why I wanted people here today. Plus I sure like preaching to people better than I do the camera. Now, I like the camera. I thank God for people online. I thank God for people out in the parking lot. I mean I just, I like it but, there’s nothing like preaching to people.
James Greer (11:36):
But guess what? I realized we can’t go back right now. If I could go back and if I had anything to do with it, man, we’d go back to having a full sanctuary. We’d go back to hugging and loving like we did at the end of the service. Man, we have the most loving and hugging church I’ve ever been in, but right now can’t go back. So, if we can’t go back right now, we better do everything we can do to go forward. Amen? And it might be inconvenient, it is inconvenient, or you might not like it. I don’t like it, but I sure don’t want to just stay in one place. And I don’t want to go backwards ,and I don’t want to miss out on all that God has for us. And I don’t want you to either. So, let’s quit looking back at what we can’t change and let’s go forward to see the things we can change. Amen? Let me give you some insights about that.
James Greer (12:19):
Learn from your past, but don’t live in your past. God’s always trying to move you forward and he always will until one day he brings you home. Satan is always trying to bring you backwards so he can destroy you. Basically, that’s what happened to Lot’s wife. God was and even the angel pulled her outside ,and he’s trying to take her and deliver her, and her mind kept going back. Satan kept saying, do you really want to give up this? Do you really want to get that? See Satan wants to destroy you. God wants to deliver you. He said, well, God gives them freedom of choice. Amen? God gives you, he gives me, he gives everybody a freedom of choice. Thank God for that, but he then give us freedom of the consequences of our choice.
James Greer (13:11):
Satan entered, I think Lot’s wife’s mind and started making her think of everything she was going to give up, instead of looking at everything she was going to get. See, that’s been since the very beginning. See, Satan did that with Eve and did that with Adam. And he entered Eve’s mind, and she started thinking she had the whole garden. She could have anything in the garden but one tree. And it entered into her mind to say, Hey, I want this one thing that I’m not supposed to have. Maybe God’s holding out on me. Instead of enjoying everything that God had given her, she kept looking at what she couldn’t have. Be careful that you don’t enjoy what God has given you, even in a situation that we’re in. Amen?
James Greer (13:50):
Stop looking back. Don’t let your past sins, don’t bring your past sins into your present relationships. Don’t bring your past sins into your present relationships. You might’ve been the one who sinned. You might have cheated, you might have stolen, you might have lied. You may have committed adultery. Fornication. Might have been drugs, maybe alcohol. Don’t go back. Don’t bring them forward. You might be the one that it was done to. Don’t keep going back to it. And surely don’t bring it forward to the next relationship. One of the biggest problems I see in marriage relationships, they keep bringing the past into the present and trying to go forward. Let’s leave the past. Let’s start where we’re at. Let’s change the end. Let’s finish well together. Amen? So whether it’s you that did it or has done to you, confess it, forsake it and move forward and commit to doing it today.
James Greer (14:55):
Second, I am going to tell you, when the Lord tells you to move, when he tells you to go forward, you’ve got to go. I’ve been doing a series of last week. It says where the Lord leads I will follow. In Genesis 19:12 he puts it this way. He says, and there’s two angles, said the Lot. The Lord has many terrible things about the people in Sodom. He said many terrible things and he sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Hey man, he said, listen, I’m telling you, take your family. Take every relative you have in the city as well as the men that to your daughters we’re going to marry. He said, man, you can have everybody. You can take them with you and you all can leave. Take everybody you’ve influenced for God and I’m going to spare them. Say, some of you right now might be going to the wrong places. You might be running around with the wrong people. You might be doing the wrong thing. I got a word for you today. You got to leave before you get destroyed. Amen? That’s good Brother James.
James Greer (16:18):
Genesis 19:14 said, Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and he said, hurry, let’s get out of here. The Lord, he’s going to destroy the city. They thought that he was joking and they just laughed at him. He had lost his effectiveness. See, he was losing his salt. It’s true. Many of us don’t have the influence we have over our children that we should. It’s a good warning to our children, too. Young and grown, many times it’d be very wise to listen to your parents, especially if your parents know the Lord. Many times God may send you a message straight to them to you. Verse 15, early the next morning, it was early the next morning, the two angels, they tried to make Lot hurry up and leave and they said, take your wife and your 2 daughters. That’s all that was going to go. That’s all he had effected and he didn’t really, didn’t affect them much. They just were going to follow because of who they were, and get out of here and go fast. Go as fast as you can. If you don’t, every one of you will be killed when the Lord destroys the city. I mean, he was telling him it’s time to go and it’s time to go fast before he destroys the city. What would happen if Lot didn’t go? He’ll destroy the city. He’s telling him to do it.
James Greer (17:13):
But I love it, verse 16 is so great. At first Lot just stood there. Have you ever seen people, you know, they’re doing something they shouldn’t do and they get caught and they’re just shocked. So that, and then the angel is sent by God and he’s saying like, you didn’t affect anybody but I love you so much. I’m still gonna spare you and I’m going to spare your wife and I’m going to, I’m going to spare your daughters. He just stood there and the Lord wanted to save him. That’s so good because see, some of you, you’ve been in your past and your past has been bad, and you’re thinking God doesn’t want to use anymore. And God has a message for you today.
James Greer (18:03):
God wants to still use you. God wants to save you. The angel took Lot and his wife and his 2 daughters. He took him by the hand and led them out of the city. You see the goodness of God. If you’re here today and watching online or whether in the parking lot, I’m telling you, God wants to save you. God wants to save you, deliver you. He wants to show you mercy. What that means, God wants to give you what you need, not what you deserve. Thank goodness. Amen? Now, I don’t think he’s going to take you by the hand. He might kick you in the butt. I’m not. He might send somebody to help you. It’s a picture of how much God wants to guide us, lead us, direct us, and protect us. It’s a picture of what it could cost us when we don’t listen to God. If we continue to not listen to God, it’ll cost us both financially, physically, emotionally, relational and spiritually. The people that are most upset about the Corona virus. I didn’t say tired of it. I said upset, freaking out. Those that have got out of touch with God.
James Greer (19:18):
Now listen, I think you trust God, but you don’t tempt him. I’m trusting God, but I’m not tempting. I’m not getting out and doing things I shouldn’t be doing. The only way that you can get the peace and joy that you had is get back in the right relationship with God. Commit today to go forward. Commit today to continue to have a better relationship with God. It’s a picture a lot in his wife not growing spiritually together. They weren’t growing anymore. His wife and many of his relatives, they were destroyed. It was all a spiritual problem. It wasn’t a physical problem. It was a spiritual problem. It was not a financial problem. It was a spiritual problem. That’s why so many times over and over and over, I tell you, I don’t care if you’ve been married one day or 30 years. I go back to Psalms 127:1,2 it says, unless the Lord build the house, your labor is in vain.
James Greer (20:11):
Who builds it? Unless the Lord builds your city where you work and the watchman stay awake, it’s in thing. It’s in vain for you to wake up early and to stay up late and eat the bread of your sorrow, for so he gives the beloved sleep. When you talk about the word vain, when the Lord said, unless the Lord built the house, you labor in vain, it means it’s false to you. It means this is going to come to ruin. It may not be a year. It may not be five years, maybe 10 years, I don’t know, but God said, if you don’t allow the Lord build a house, you’re only fooling yourself because it’s going to eventually fall. But when you turn it away, the opposite. It’s so wonderful. The opposite of vain is successful. So wherever you’re at in your relationship, you can turn it around right now and you can start letting Lord build your house, your job. And he says, listen, I can turn it around and you can still be successful even today. Amen?
James Greer (21:31):
Third run for your life. I’m telling you, he, verse 17, he told him, run for your life. When they were outside, one of the angels said, run for your lives. Don’t even look back and don’t stop in the valley and run to the Hills where you’re going to be safe. In other words, hurry up. Run. He said, run to life. And the Lord sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed the cities. Just like he said he was going to do man. And he destroyed the cities as well as the land and trees and everything there. Verse 26, you already own the way he told them, don’t look back. Told them to run, didn’t he? On the way Lot’s wife looked back and turned into either a block or a pillar of salt. Whatever translation you want to read, faith looks forward. Don’t look back. You can’t change what’s in the path, but you can change how you finish some things that God tells do. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he says, that is why I said he run from sexual sins. What should you do from sexual sins? Run. Amen?
James Greer (22:30):
1 Corinthians 9:26 says, so don’t run without goals. If you don’t have any goals. I tell you there’s at least three goals every single person needs. Me and Debbie use to sit down at least twice a year. And we always had, we had financial goals, we had personal goals, and we had spiritual goals and it was so fantastic to see God create those goals. And that’s why my favorite verse, or my life verses is Ephesians 3:20, God can do exceedingly above all as you ask or think or what you can even imagine. And God has allowed us to live that verse out. But it was because we take time and we said, where do we want to be personally? And so many, or where do we want to be financially in so many years? Where do we want to be spiritually? And if you haven’t done that, you need to do it and you need to do it together.
James Greer (23:10):
And then 1 Corinthians 10:14 says, run away. Run away from worshiping idols. What is an idol to Christians? An idol is looking to anything, or anybody other than Jesus Christ to meet your physical and emotional and spiritual needs. Quit looking to other people and other things to meet your needs, and run to God. As we get ready to close, I want to give you some things to think about. If you never run the God for salvation, today is the day. And I say salvation to go to heaven and I say salvation to be delivered. I say salvation to be protected. Today’s the day to move forward. If you’re out of touch with God and it seems like you can’t hear God anymore, today is the day to commit to moving forward. If you just stay in word and fear and stress, today is the day to move forward, not backwards.
James Greer (24:14):
Matthew 11:28 says, God says, come unto me, move forward coming to me all you who labor or are stressed out, heavy laden, and I’ll give you rest. Today is the day to do that. Hey, if you’ve been watching online or if you’re here today and you want to join journey church, you can do it online. We have people joining online. That’s not the normal, but you can do it by the way, you can get saved online. We just want you to come get saved. We want your life to change. We want you to move forward. Amen?
James Greer (24:46):
Maybe you hadn’t been baptized. That’s what was so exciting about that. We only baptized two people since we’ve been quarantined. We’re baptizing four or five people every single Sunday. I missed that more than anything else. God, we’ve got to move forward. We’ve got to figure out a way to keep reaching people and getting people saved. If there’s one thing that I miss and I know I can’t go back, I’ve been preaching it. I miss being in the baptism and seeing three, four people baptized every Sunday. God help us to learn how to move forward. And still, if you’re watching online and you’re here and you’ve never accepted Christ and never followed through in baptism, just commit to doing that and we’ll, we’ll get it worked out. We did it today, and we’ll do it with you. I think one of the ways I’m going to close is I’m going to have you in a minute bow your heads, and I can’t have you come to the alter. Man, I miss that too. You can do two things. You can, you can use your chairs one, but I’m going to have you have an opportunity to raise your hand if you want to move forward. If you’re online, you can still say, Hey, I want to move forward. Or you can raise your hand or you can type it in. Then I am going to close and I’m going to tell you two simple ways to move forward. So, if you’d bow your heads right now.
James Greer (26:04):
God, I thank you for today. I know we can’t go back. We can’t go back to the beginning. We can’t go back right now. Now church was, but God, I sure wish we could. But we can go forward. We can do the things that we have to do and God we definitely have to rely on you to do that. I thank you that we got to celebrate baptism. God, do you know my heart? You know, that’s the exciting thing. That’s life changing. It lasts for eternity and now nobody can take that. So we celebrate that together. God for everybody, whether they’re online or outside or in the sanctuary. If you want to say to God in your heart, God, I just want to move forward, just raise your hand right now where you are. Amen. Just raise your hand. Say, Hey God, I want to move forward. Amen. All over. Amen. God knows your hearts.
James Greer (26:52):
Amen. Man, if I was there, I’d be saying, Hey God, I want to keep moving forward. My hand would be up. I can tell you that. It would be up. I think there’s places online that you can say, Hey, how to join, how to accept Christ. I just want to thank you for being here today. I want to thank you for watching online and I want to share a really easy way how to go forward with God before we dismiss in Christ’s name. Amen. I’ve been preaching on going forward, going forward, going forward, going forward. Let me, let me give you an easy way. Every morning, just open, don’t just open randomly take a book in the Bible. Take Philippians, 1 John, James, just to take a book. And start reading the book in the morning. I’m not talking about, you don’t have to read it for hours every day, right? Read it until God speaks to you. Sometimes it’s five minutes, sometimes 15, sometimes 20. Just read it for a minute until God speaks to you. Just mark it and shut it. Right before you go to bed, just pick up right there and read it for a minute until God speaks to you. You might want to write down what he said. Just shut the Bible and go to bed. And start doing that every day. You’ll just be amazed how often God will speak to you. Sometimes it’s just for a moment. Sometimes you don’t read your Bible five minutes and God’s already spoke to you, but he wants to slay, but I will encourage you to continue to move forward with God. Amen.
James Greer (27:42):
Father, I thank you for today. God, I pray for every single person, a special blessing here. I thank you for the opportunity to preach to people and it’s the Christ’s name I pray and everybody said Amen.
James Greer (28:33):
We’re so glad you were with us in worship today. If you want to take your next step, I’m going to ask you to click the link below and take that next step. If you’re in the parking lot and you want to take the next step, simply raise your hand and we will have people come by and bring you a next step card. If you want someone to pray with you and for you, click the link below. We have people on standby that want to pray with you now. I’m asking you this time to give to the ministries of Journey Church, whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. Simply give. We have a dynamic children’s worship who wants you to be a part of. So click the link below and your kids will in joy. Hey guys, I’ll see you next time.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.