The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. Job 17:9
Yesterday is the advisory of tomorrow.
In my previous blog, Looking Forward I discuss the importance of looking forward, This week I want to discuss the importance of moving forward. Taking action is an essential component of our future, though it can be extremely difficult.
Have you ever felt like a pack horse so weighed down by your past, you felt incapable of moving forward? God’s desire for us is that we get stronger and stronger but often times we find ourselves doing the exact opposite, getting weaker and weaker. When we allow ourselves to focus and move toward the past, it should come to no surprise it affects our progress. If you’re not moving forward, you are behind.
We can not take the consequences of moving backward lightly. A lot of things we deal with on a day-to-day are a direct result of moving in reverse. Some of the biggest strongholds we face such as depression and anxiety are a lot of times linked to what baggage we are carrying from our past, in turn making it hard to move on.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18
Can you imagine trying to get to Antartica by moving north? The same is true when we try to move to the future while motioning the opposite way. While it is ok to learn lessons from your past and remember the incredible things God has done for you, dwelling on the negative of yesterday has zero percent chance of bettering your tomorrow.
Forgetting the former
Embracing the new
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Can we all take a moment and acknowledge how hard this virtue can be to develop and maintain? While we all know patience to be an important part of life, it nonetheless can be a difficult part. Often times in my own life, patience was relatively easy in the early stages of the process but then after waiting-
then waiting some more-
it began to feel more like I was on pins and needles opposed to feeling at rest in the midst of God’s perfect timing. I was relying on my own understanding, rather than trusting in God’s timing.
Unfortunately, I am late sometimes. Alright, most of the time. It is an unintentional habit I’ve established over the years and have yet to kick it. However, God is never late. Notice, I didn’t say The Lord is early either. He is always right on time. Although, we often lose sight of this truth in the midst of our process and that’s exactly what it is- a process.
While I have never been a farmer there is one thing I know. Farming is a process. There is a bridge in between the seed and the harvest, that bridge being the wait. There is a time for the seed, a time for the harvest and likewise a time for the wait.
This blog is a follow up to my previous blog- Those Who Wait where I discuss the importance of waiting on The Lord. The wait isn’t a time to doubt, however, it is a time of expectancy. For as the farmer will see his harvest so will you see your harvest in due time. In perfect time. In God’s time.
But I will watch for the Lord; I will wait confidently for God, who will save me. My God will hear me. Micah 7:7
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Have you ever been in complete darkness? The kind of darkness in which you can’t see your hand in front of your face? That kind of pitch darkness and lightlessness is what the world is without Jesus.
As Christians, we are called to illuminate the world and show them Jesus in our day-to-day lives. If this objective has become vague and equivocal, we can alternate to blending into the darkness. You don’t have to look far into the scripture to realize Jesus was not on this earth to blend into the darkness but rather stand out and show the world the light.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
A town built on a hill is visible to everyone, thus we should be distinguishable and conspicuous to the world. Our Father wants us to shine our light. For we were all in darkness at one time, but God graciously called us out of it into the light.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Think back to the last time you had an obstacle that made you feel hopeless. Maybe it was a year ago, a week ago or maybe you are finding yourself in the midst of a hang-up as you read this. These roadblocks are inevitable but unfortunately, we often find ourselves feeling at the end of our road with no good future.
Genesis 37-50 Joesph is no stranger to such difficulties. But through every trial, he remained faithful to the Lord, and the Lord remained faithful to Joseph. From being sold into slavery by his own family to being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, it would have been easy for Joseph to question his purpose and future. But he knew The Lord had a plan. Too often in our life, we scale our life down to one day, one feeling, or one obstacle when God is looking at our whole life. There was no time where God and His favor couldn’t be found in Joseph’s life. How great is it to serve a God, that even in slavery or prison, uses that very same obstacle to promote and bless us. He is the God that turns hang-ups into hope!
If he were never a slave to Potiphar, he would have never became his assistant. If he were never a prisoner, he would have a never became second in command of Egypt. Joseph goes on to name his first child Manasseh meaning ‘Forget’ saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” Then he went on to name his second-born Ephraim meaning ‘Double Prosperity’ saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.” I’m here to tell you God can do the very same thing for you! He will make you forget your past hardships and give you prosperity in your land of sorrow! Joseph trusted in something a lot of us have a hard time with-God’s timing. The same obstacle your facing could be the very thing that promotes you to the best place in life you’ve ever been! God’s timing isn’t a second too early or a second too late. It’s perfect.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God’s plans for you is something to look forward to, no matter what season you are in. So that means for whatever your past, there’s a good future. For every failed plan, there’s a plan to prosper. For every hang up, there IS hope!