Jul 4, 2008

Looking Forward...staying focused...

Monday morning I was on my way to physical therapy and as I was driving a thought came to me....moving forward in life is like driving. Now just think about this. If you have a certain destination in mind, my case the Rehabilitation Center in Marion. When driving you must look forward, if you don't the car will veer off the road into another car or ditch or even a tree. If you are like me, you check your rear view mirrors but you do not stay focused on what is behind you. There are times in our lives that we have to let go of the past. Now that doesn't always mean some big hurt, it could just mean letting go of an idea, what was, or a relationship that does harm to us spiritually or emotionally. In our church we have many trophies and plaques. Some for appreciating for volunteering in nursing homes and others for the best parade float. Many people like to reminisce about the good ole days and how things were this way and that. It happens a lot in smaller churches such as ours. Sometimes the conversation may start out like, "when we had...." or "Well a few years ago we did it this way..." There is nothing wrong with reminiscing unless you get stuck with the what was and forget there are still what ifs and what can bes in the future.

I have been contemplating about this all week. It's been slowly eating at me and finally last night I took the time to read Gen 19. In Gen 19 you will read about how God sent two angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. You will also find that those angels warned Lot to get his family out of the sinful, evil city.

Vs 15 - 16 "When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry,
saying "Arise take your wife and daughters who are here, lest yo be consumed
in the punishment of the city." And while he lingered, the angels took hold of his hand, his wife's hand and the hands of his daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. (amplified)

Here is what I find interesting in these passages, he lingers. Lot has been warned the city and all within it will be destroyed and to get out and he lingers!? What in the world was the man thinking? He was basically told run for your life! and he lingers. Lot had memories in the city, possessions, his home and friends were there...yes he lingered. Wouldn't you? It's not always easy to give up things and move forward. But God was merciful and picked him up and got him out with the help of the angels. Sometimes God moves you away from that which is harmful to you.

Vs 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he
said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." (amplified)
Interesting, do you see what it says do not look back, do not stay in that place or you're going to die! That's pretty clear to me. But later on in the passage we read that Lot's wife does look back and becomes a pillar of salt and dies.

It's like driving, if you stay focused on what's behind you, you will eventually crash and possibly die. See God doesn't want us to keep looking back He wants us to look forward, to focus on the goal. Does it mean forget the past no! It means stay focused on Him, stay focus on what could be and not what was. Is that easy to do? No not always.
Sometimes God steps in and helps us move on as He did for Lot. Sometimes He lets us chose to look forward or to linger. In Lot's wife's case she had a choice, she lingered and died. Lot had a choice to, God moved him forward and when He did Lot then stayed focus, moved forward and didn't look back.

Today what are you lingering on, what is holding you back from fulfilling that goal? What is holding you back from growing closer to God? The thing about rear view mirrors is they only show you where you've been not where you're going. SO which direction are you planning to go today, forward trusting that God has a plan and if you stay focused and put your trust in Him things will work out? OR are you going to linger which could lead to death? If you linger on a dead relationship or the hurts from the past you will never have the future relationships God has for you or the healing He wants to give you. If a church lingers on what was and doesn't look forward to what could be the church will eventually die. Maybe you are lingering in a dead in job or a workplace that is harmful to you spiritually. What is stopping you for moving out and going forward? Is it that old familiar place...don't want to get out of your comfort zone? Sometimes you just have to dance! God wants us to dance, He wants us to break out and move forward in Him and trust Him for the outcome just stay focused on Him and the He has for you!

Today is the 4th of July. Many men and women have fought so that I can speak freely about my faith in Jesus Christ, that I may be free to move about the country without checking in with the government, to be free to have as many children as I want to have. I have to say thank you to all the men and women who sacrifice their lives and loved ones so that I may have freedom! I total support our troops that are out there doing their job whether its here at home or in Iraq, Afghanistan or some other country. I also must say thank you to the families that sit and wait for their loved ones to return home safely. I have a blogging friend, Angela who's husband has been deployed just recently and they have 4 kids. Angela to I want to thank you and all the other families that sacrifice their time with their loved ones so that my family may live in a free country!

Today I have the freedom to chose to move forward or linger......I chose to move forward! What do you chose?

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