Have you ever tried to walk backwards or tried to drive your car in reverse, not just to get out of the drive but your entire journey? How difficult is that? Do you know we do it daily in terms of how we live life…when we hold on to the past? Past hurts, pain, disappointments, failures…even past successes.
Isaiah says 43 vs 18 – 19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
We can’t focus our minds on Jesus and what He can do for us while we’re focusing our minds on our past and what we’ve done—either good or bad.
Paul wanted all of us to know that we have to lay aside our past successes and failures to possess our futures. He wrote in Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
We can’t look both ways at once. We don’t want to look back because, as every runner knows, when we look back we slow down. So great is God’s faithfulness that we are promised new mercies every morning, so there is no need to live in the past and His goodness and blessings are not limited and He never runs empty.
Living in past successes is also equally dangerous because we stay in contentment and feel proud of our achievements, but then never move on from there and years later when the seasons of life have moved on we find ourselves stuck in the same place. We might cling on dearly to memories of the past and live in regret now.
For a lot of people, the past holds a difficult childhood, an abusive marriage, loss of a loved one, financial loss, betrayal, a difficult break-up. Yet no matter how painful our past may have been, for some strange reason we often choose not to let go. In order to get on with our future and simplify our lives, we must choose to make a clean break and leave the past behind.
The Bible is filled with men and women with rough pasts and yet God used them to make a difference in the world. There is no sin God can’t forgive, there is no situation or person that God cannot cause to change. There is nothing you have done in your past or that has been done to you that God can’t redeem.
Today ask yourself these questions:
• How has holding on to your past put limits on your future?
• What might you need to leave behind or let go of in order to move forward into the future?
• Is there a situation or a conversation from the past that you need to deal with in the present in order to move on?
Look to the future because that is where you are going to spend the rest of your life.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.