Looking back (1)
How much time do you spend thinking about the past? There are usually two reasons why we focus on the past. Firstly, we feel trapped by it and can’t forget the things that have happened to us. We struggle to break free from the things that have happened to us or the guilt of the things we’ve done. Secondly, we look back to the good times, and wonder why our lives aren’t as good as they used to be. We long for times when we felt happier or closer to God. We look back in regret because things aren’t the same any more. But the Bible tells us: ‘Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions’ (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NIV). Before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, angels of the Lord rescued Lot and his family. ‘One of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”’ (Genesis 19:17 NIV). But ‘Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.’ God doesn’t want us to be continually looking backwards. Sometimes we need to look back in order to remember God’s faithfulness or to learn from our mistakes. But when we’re fixated on the past, we miss what God has for us in the present, and prevent ourselves from walking forwards into the future He’s planned for us. Just like Lot’s wife, when we look backwards, we can become stationary. We can’t move into all the new things God has for us. But if we let God in, He’ll help us deal with the things we’ve been through and then show us the way ahead.
Have a read of Isaiah 43:18-19. Ask God to help you focus on the new things He’s doing in your life.
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