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MOVING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Daily Thought

Your Word for 17 May 2024

John 15:4
‘Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.’
By: Andrew W Roebert

MOVING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

INTRODUCTION:
One of the greatest keys to success in life is the ability to be able to go forward into what lies ahead and away from the past with its success or failure. How often we live in the past. It is a difficult concept because our only frame of reference is the past and yet our past can become our biggest hindrance. I know a lady who lived during the Second World War, and it had a profound effect on her. As a result of living in a time when nothing was available, everything had to be kept – just in case. Although she never suffered lack, she could not shake this ‘in case’ attitude. In the process she spent her life hoarding things, most of which she never used or enjoyed. When the time came to move to a retirement home, most of the things had to be disposed of by relatives, much to the heartache of the lady! It is so easy to live in the past and in the process our past (however good or bad) can rob us of our present and future freedom.

1. THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

Our past successes and our past failures can be our biggest hindrance. I once heard a story of an older accomplished motor racing driver who was busy training a new potential driver. As they got into the racing car, the older driver taught the younger man a valuable lesson. Before even starting the car he reached up, grabbed the rear-view mirror, and ripped it off, throwing it out of the window. He said what is behind you is behind you and you will never win a race if you are preoccupied with what is going on behind you or in your past. You win a race by looking forward towards the goal. That was all this new driver needed to be concerned about. In a sense this lesson applies to our everyday life. When we drive a car we cannot continually be focused on what is going on in the rear-view mirror. This is sure to land us in an accident. We have to focus on what is happening ahead. How much time do you spend looking in the rear-view mirror of life? We need to be radical. We need to rip out the rear-view mirrors of our lives. We need to stop focusing on the little we can see through the rear-view mirror and start looking through the windscreen, which is many times the size of the mirror and is the window on all that lies ahead.

2. FORGET THE FORMER

The Bible is pretty radical on the advice it gives us as to how much focus the past should receive.
Isaiah 43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
It sounds a bit radical, but perhaps that is what God wants us to do. It is another way of saying: ‘get rid of the rear-view mirror’! This forgetting the former things includes not looking back. When we look back we look back at good times, regrets, joys and disappointments. I want to encourage you to deal with what you can deal with, put right what you can put right and begin to move forward. God wants our futures to be brighter than our pasts.
Jeremiah 29:11 I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

3. PRESS ON!

Each day presents its own opportunities and options. Having a forward approach means we keep on pressing on. Hurdles and obstacles are part of life. We have to move through what we are facing and press on, knowing that God has wonderful things in store for us.
Philippians 3:14 I press on towards the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Pressing on speaks of determination and perseverance. These are things that God wants to see in our lives and things that God rewards.

4. REACHING FORWARD

We need to have a ‘reaching forward’ attitude. This attitude includes the ability to embrace the new and the things that lie before us. The Bible tells us that God has set before us an open door, but it is no good staring at the door or camping at the door. We have to move through the door into the next thing that God has for us. I have seen people who have camped at an open door of opportunity for so long that when they eventually decide to move through the door, it had closed. We should be asking and keeping on asking, we should be seeking and keeping on seeking, we should be knocking and keeping on knocking and we should be reaching forward and continually reaching forward. Reaching forward or taking ground (possessing) is part of the life God has for you! This applies to all aspects of our lives.
Philippians 3:13 one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
The challenge is to let this become the one thing we do!

5. THE THINGS THAT ARE AHEAD

What exactly is lying ahead? The answer is we just never know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here are however four things:
1. OPEN DOORS!
Revelation 3:8 See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut!
2. DIFFERENT THINGS!
Philippians 3:13 one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
3. NEW THINGS!
Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
4. UNLIKELY THINGS!
Isaiah 43:19 I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

6. DON’T LOOK BACK

This aspect of looking forward to what may lie ahead and not focusing on the past is the key to enjoying success. It needs to become our goal and our aspiration. Something we strive for and towards. This needs to be a daily focal point so that we do not fall into the trap!
Philippians 3:13 But one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
The Bible actually gives a stern warning to those who live and constantly keep looking over their shoulder to the past.
Luke 9:62 Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back (to the things behind), is fit for the kingdom of God.

7. THE GOAL

God is not looking for ‘rear-view mirror’ focused people. God is looking for those who will step forward, confident that God is already there. We need to fight the good fight and win.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
We need to run the race and to finish the course. We need to get to know God better and enjoy all He has for us. He will not disappoint us!
Hosea 6:3 Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him! Then He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.

The promise is that as you and I press on, God will respond and arrive in our lives. Let us not always be looking in the rear-view mirror of our lives but let us grab hold of today and make the most of it, trusting God with the big picture as He reveals it to us bit by bit and with each step we take!

By Pastor Andrew W. Roebert
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