Are you living your Life in the Rearview Mirror

images-61The holidays were right around the corner and the memories were beginning to be made without me, as my family was already in Chicago waiting for my arrival. I was rushing around trying to get the office closed and get home so I could pack and head out of town to be on time for the family annual gathering.

Even though it was mind boggling because of everything that needed done, yet some how I had locked the office door and was now in my car driving away. Then out of nowhere came a thought like an enemy arrow that pierced my already tired mind, “I hadn’t turned off the lights in my office”. I began looking in my rearview mirror trying to see if I could tell if they were on or not. Needless to say, I


You cannot go forward as long as you’re looking behind you!


wasn’t looking forward any longer. It’s amazing how a person might think he could go forward safely and be looking in the rearview mirror. Well, it doesn’t work! Ahead of me was a line of cars waiting for a train to finish crossing the road. When I finally looked ahead, I immediately tried to swerve but ended up crashing into the stopped cars.

I learned a valuable lesson that day that has helped me throughout my life. You cannot go forward as long as you’re looking behind you! Paul says, in Phil 3:12-13, “I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”. Paul exhorts the believers in Philippi to not look behind. They were like so many people in our day that are so fixed on the past that they are hindered from going forward in their lives.

Whether it was a bad decision when they were young, maybe an abortion, a bad marriage and act of violence or possible many different things. One thing for sure is that not dealing with the past will keep our eyes looking behind us and hinder us from going forward with our lives. In verse 14, Paul continues by saying, “I


Only when we have rightly dealt with the past can we face tomorrow with confidence and triumph.


press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He is saying that he keeps his eyes on the things ahead and where God’s blessings abide. Paul pushed forward to achieve the very reason God had apprehended him. Unfortunately, many of us can’t go forward because our past failures are holding us down. But that is a plot of the enemy in your life: To make you dwell on your failures and not move on. He wants to keep you in bondage to your past so you are useless for what God has for you in the present.

How we deal with our disappointments will determine whether they destroy us or make us stronger. It’s natural to examine ourselves and deal with areas of our lives. (2 Cor 13:5) But, it is totally wrong to be held in bondage to our past. We must bring our failures (1 John 1:9-10) and successes before the Lord and ask Him to forgive where it’s needed and be Lord over even the things we have achieved success in. (2 Cor 10:5-6)

Only when we have rightly dealt with the past can we face tomorrow with confidence and triumph. We must be about His business. But, you can’t go forward by looking in the rearview mirror.

 

Thoughts to Ponder:

1.)    Do you have times when you are bombarded by things in your past? Or maybe you have a friend that seems to be in bondage to some events in their past? Explain?

2.)    Paul was accustom to the Greek athletic races and therefore used them to bring out what point in Phil 3:12-14 that applied to a believers life? Explain how 2 Cor 10:5-6 can help those who seem to always allow the past failures or successes to hinder what God may have for their present lives.

3.)    What things would you say to anyone that was living their life in bondage to  their past? What does 1 John 1:9-10 exhort those that are followers of Jesus?

 

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This is going to hurt me more than you!

disciplined child Heb 12:5-11   “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”  7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?   

Until I became a parent, I just could not understand the phrase, “This is going to hurt me more than You!”  I would hear my parents tell me this same line each time I was getting a wiping. At times I heard it more frequently than at other times. I guess maybe it was a seasonal thing. It was seasons of rebellion and seasons of obedience.

What was it all about? Could my parents really feel anything? Was it painful to swing the paddle?  I don’t think so! Did they just choose to say it so it would keep them from feeling guilty? Then what was it supposed to mean?

Well, now that I have become a parent it’s starting to make a little bit of sense. Even though my children are pretty spectacular they aren’t perfect. Therefore, there are times that they need a little correction or chastisement. And when that time comes I have to be truthful. It really does hurt me to do it. It would be much easier to just let things slide by without correction than it would be to reprimand them. There has been times that after I brought correction and chastisement that I was hurting all evening. It breaks a father’s heart to see his children hurt, even if they deserve it.  So now after all those confusing times of hearing those words time after time, I can honestly say I get it now! “It’s going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.” It’s because of the love that parents have for their children that make them say those strange words.

The scriptures reveal in Heb. 12:5 – 11 that if we are not being chastised by God then we are not His children. If we are not His children then we are in a heap more trouble than just a little correction.

Therefore I think we should look at God’s correction as an incredible compliment from heaven. It confirms that we truly are His children.  And if we are children then we are heirs to the King. So we should say, Lord please continue to correct and chastise me when I am in need.

Our God is a just and loving God. He is always fair when He moves in our lives. Because He loves us!  In His chastisement towards us we can rest in knowing He loves us and wants the best for us!