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?

 

Advertisements

Don’t Allow a Fall to Keep You Down!

590506608The scripture talks much about different individuals that have fallen and tripped along the journey of faith. In Prov 24:16 Solomon might have had his father in mind besides his own experience as he wrote, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” I think most honest believers would admit to a time or times that they have tripped and fallen during their race of righteousness. Yet, we will only lose if we don’t get back up.

Four years of preparation had now come to a close as he returned to the Olympics to defend his gold medal in the 10,000 meter race. Mo Farah of Great Britain had been diligent to push forward and discipline his body for this race. He had practiced and kept focus for these past years to continue at the top of the platform. A


Just because you have stumbled and even had a major mess up, it doesn’t mean your race is over      (tweet)


you know they don’t just give gold medals away for being nice and having good intentions. There’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into bringing the prize home! Even so, most of us will never understand the level of commitment and sacrifice that is put into being a world class athletic once, let alone a seconded consecutive time. All of this was in the mind of Mo as he waits for the starting shot to go off. The mental strain and voices from the crowd as well as that inner voice can become a runners biggest battle as the physical pain increases.

            Everything was going as a typical championship race. The crowded lanes, the different strategies being played out and the continual screams from the onlookers. Farah as well as his faithful friend and training partner, U.S. runner Galen Rupp,


It’s always easier to quit the race and not get up, but there’s no prize in that!     (tweet)


seemed to be moving forward in the crowded pack. Then in the 10th lap Farah’s foot hit Galen behind him causing him to fall. The announcers and the world looked on in horror as Farah tumbled to the track and like a gymnast he pops back up on his feet and continues to run. Determined not to stay down or make excuses he pushed on to Continue reading