Stop Looking Back
How many of us live our lives wishing we could go back in time and change things, fix things or even start a fresh? So many of us waste our time dwelling on the past and forget to live in the present. We’ve all made bad decisions or had those really embarrassing moments which we wish we could go back and erase, but the reality is: we can’t and it’s a hard truth to face…
When you keep looking back at your past regrets, it can honestly drain the life out of you. The Bible tells us the story of Lot’s wife who failed to trust God’s plan for her and instead “looked back” at the riches of the city she was leaving behind, when God told her not to. As a result, she was turned into a pillar of salt - a testimony of how living in the past can rob you of a better future or no future at all.
Looking back is the perfect destroyer of one’s destiny - it keeps you fixated on possibilities that have a 0% chance of occurring. It keeps you in bondage to regret and shame, robbing you of peace, joy and happiness. It’s the enemy’s tactic to hold that shame over you, to keep tripping you up. God didn’t give you the strength to get back on your feet so that you would run back to the same thing that knocked you down.
Yet, however that was the mentality of the Israelites…The story of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years truly demonstrates the “looking back mentality” in our own lives. By not letting go of the past, it blinded them from the glorious future God had promised them.
Due to spiritual amnesia, they forgot how God had once delivered them out of slavery in Egypt. Instead they complained, forgetting of the miraculous deeds and provisions God had blessed them with. But God never promised that the journey to the Promised Land would be easy. He promised, however, that it would be worth it.
Yet, it was the past that kept them in fear and made them doubt God’s plans for them. They forgot that the almighty ever-living God existed and placed their fears above their trust in the Lord, even though God had already made a way for them even when it seemed like there was no way. For God never has a plan for you, that He won’t see you through with.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided” – Exodus 14:21
Despite, physically being freed from bondage in Egypt, their mindset was still tied down. It this similar mentality, which is often prevalent in victims of abuse. It’s often manipulation and the cycle of abuse, which keeps them tied down to the familiar and false sense of security that is offered from that relationship. But what they fail to realise, is that God has a hope of a better way for them.
God wants to free you from your past and guide you to your Promised Land, if you place all your hope in Him.
If you keep looking back, it can only postpone those plans that God has for you because your walking in a completely wrong direction to where He is calling you to be. It takes incredible humility to surrender to the almighty God and leave everything in His control – for if you were to fall, trust that you would fall into His arms of protection.
No matter how bad the last few chapters of your story were, you have the choice to determine the next few. By God’s grace, we have been chosen to have a new beginning. You can bring closure to the unnecessary chapters, rewrite the story, edit the mistakes and publish your progress. Or you could be your worst enemy and continue to dwell on chapters that are permeant, erasable and will never change.
POINT TO PONDER: Looking back simply prevents you from reaching the Promised Land.
VERSE TO LIVE: “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3:13-14
QUESTION TO CONSIDER: Have you fully surrendered your past, present and future to the Lord.
PRAYER: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.