No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.
— Philippians 3:14-15 (TLB)
When you’re driving, it doesn’t hurt to look in the rear view mirror from time to time but if you want to stay alive, you probably better spend most of your looking through the front windshield. Lord, willing, that’ll get you to where you’re going!
I love to hear testimonies of how God has worked in peoples lives. Most of our stories of when we gave our hearts to Christ are wonderful even if different, but they all have one thing in common: Jesus changed our lives and brought us “out of darkness into His marvelous light”
(1 Peter 2:9). Aren’t we forever grateful!
But I do have a problem with some testimonies after I hear the same ones from the same people over and over. I’m tempted to ask them the question, “That’s great but what has God done for you lately?” Or maybe even better, “Tell me what have you done for God in return? Tell me how you’ve moved on from your past of mistakes.” The apostle Paul, who never was one to mince words, let everyone know that he wasn’t concerned with all the things that were in his past. In fact, he made it a point to forget them and move on to what was up ahead.
To Paul, the Christian life was a race to the finish line. Everybody knows that when you’re in a race you could lose by looking over your shoulder instead of keeping your eyes on the finish line. When we spend too much time glancing thorough our rear view mirror of life, it’s easy to dwell on the negatives. “Why did I say that?” “That was such a dumb decision.” “What could I have done to save that special relationship?” “Why was I so ugly to that person?” “What made me fail when I thought it was the right thing to do?” And the list goes on and on—and on!
However, when we look through our front windshield, which by the way is at least fifty times bigger than the rear view mirror, we can see and enjoy the beauty of what’s up ahead—and get ready for the next challenge and opportunity that God has for us to make us better. So, rather than lament on our past failures or even celebrate our successes, let’s praise God for the future.
God still has a wonderful plan for our lives because we belong to Him. So let’s quit looking at life through our yesterdays, my friends—we could miss what God has for us tomorrow! Maranatha!
To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better