Moving Forward

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
Moving forward

Looking Forward

Have you ever had a hard time with focusing on the past? Though the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into years, we can often find ourselves dwelling on the unfavorable memories of our yesterday.

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25

Can you imagine driving your car while looking only at the rear-view mirror? It wouldn’t end well, would it? Likewise in our day-to-day lives when we look at the rear-view, it does not end well for us. If we are constantly looking what’s be behind us, it makes it hard to navigate through life.

John 8:44 tells us when Satan lies, he is speaking his native language. He wants to do everything in his power to get you to believe the lies of your yesterday. I am writing to let you know, those old, familiar thoughts are lies! You are not your past!
We need to take our eyes off the lies and keep them on the prize!

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Notice, Paul didn’t say ‘coasting forward’ but ‘straining forward’. Straining means ‘to make a strenuous or unusually great effort’ and that’s what we have to do in our everyday lives. If we’re not intentional, it can become easy to wake up every day in the yesterday.

Jerimiah 29:11 tells us God’s plan for us is to give us a hope and a future. Choose today to trust your future looks great and keep your eyes fixed on the prize!

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” Isaiah 43:13

How To Wait On God

Have you ever had a hard time finding contentment while waiting? Whether it’s the doctor’s office or your favorite restaurant, it can be easy to get eager in the wait. In my previous blogs, Those Who Wait and Sow. Wait. Reap. I discuss why it’s important to wait on God. In this blog, I want to talk to you about how to do so.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

After reading my previous blog, Sow. Wait. Reap. my wife quickly exclaimed, “You should write about how to wait on God!” Since my wife is always right (hopefully she reads this one) I decided that’s exactly what I was going to do. We always hear how ‘Patience is a virtue.’ and ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ However, it is important to understand how to wait. Here are a few principles I believe that is going to change the way you view the wait and help you in the process.

Let Go

I know I sound like the friend who, when you’re going through a difficult time just says, “Hey, just don’t think about it.” Easier said than done, right? But letting go is an important part of the process of waiting for The Lord. God’s time is always the right time, thus as we let go of our own made-up deadlines we allow God to take control. In the U.S. we are split into four different time zones- ET, CST, MT and PST. Too often, we are operating in our own time zone, while God is operating in GIT. God’s Impeccable Time.

Enjoy It

We have to learn to enjoy the process of waiting. Imagine, you are going to climb a mountain that is going to take you two months to get to the summit. What if the only time you told yourself you are going to enjoy the process, is the time spent at the top? That would be a miserable trip, would it not? The end result of our waiting is a destination and if we tell ourselves you’re only going to be happy once we get there, we miss out on enjoying the right now! Everyday life, with God in your life is something to enjoy, no matter what season you’re in!

Think Big

Guys, am I the only one who too often has a hard time forgetting the big picture and viewing my life through a magnifying glass? God’s plan for your life isn’t just this specific season, but a life full of harvest, lessons, and testimonies. Can you imagine if a farmer viewed this year’s harvest as the only harvest of his life? No, for every season is a new harvest just as your life is made up of multiple seasons and harvests.

If you noticed, the first letter of every principle combined spells out LET. That is exactly what I want you to take from this, ‘Let go of trying to take control, leaning on your own understanding, but acknowledge Him and let God make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If there are things you know the Holy Spirit is telling you to do-then do them, but too often in our lives, we question His timing and try to take control of our life. It is a great thing when we learn to stay still in God’s perfect timing. I would compare it to a restless five-year-old in the backseat of a long car trip yelling, “Are we there yet?” You might not be there yet, but trust in the Father’s timing and I promise you, you will be there in perfect timing!

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Sow. Wait. Reap.

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

Patience.
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

Wait confidently.

The Potter / The Clay

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

I love architecture. I love admiring the creativity and creation first seeded from an idea then birthed into reality. My wife always makes the comment, if you put me in any sort of building I will have something to talk about for hours. It doesn’t matter where it is, I am always finding myself rambling on about the intricate detail that goes into the design and construction of one said structure. What is the last creation you have seen that has left you astonished? Maybe it was a building, a painting or a poem. Now imagine that creation questioning its creator. Unfortunately, I have been guilty of this very thing.

“How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid” Isaiah 29:16

Why don’t I look like that person? Why don’t I have these talents? God couldn’t have made me, look at me. Insecure and uncertain, we question the formulation of God, our Creator. Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are God’s handiwork, so why question our Maker? You are the work of the One who made the mountains and the sky, do we question the creation of the mountains or sky? Of course not, we see their purpose and significance! Just as your Creator sees purpose and significance in you!

God knew exactly what He was doing as He made each unique feature that you are made up of. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, with every detail down to your fingerprints, sophisticatedly arranged by the hand of God. It is hard to live our full potential when our full attention is fixated on what we don’t have. When we live a life full of appreciation for what we do have, we no longer question our Creator’s creation, but rather live fearless and brazen knowing we are God’s masterpiece!

These words aren’t meant to be applied to our lives so we live full of boastfulness and self-worship. However, we boast in the Lord because our confidence is in Him. We are going to get to the end of our life and we’ll have done one of two things: live a life questioning our purpose or live a life answering the call of God on our life. Your desires, dreams, gifts and callings have been put in you by God, and it’s through God that you can accomplish those things.

The Father / The Children
The Creator / The Creation
The Potter / The Clay

Isaiah Roebuck

Hope For Hang-Ups

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.”
Jeremiah 29:11

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!

Isaiah Roebuck