If you and I decided we were going to drive to Camber (my favorite coffee shop downtown), but I told you that you had to get us there only using your rear view mirror, what would you tell me? You’d say no way and that I was absolutely crazy! Even though that would probably be quite a thriller, you would be right in your accusations. It would be reckless, irresponsible and the people around us (including you and I) could end up seriously hurt!
Ridiculous illustration, but I think many of us live our lives in a similar fashion thinking the logic here doesn’t apply. Trying to move forward into the future but spending our time focused on the past. What I did, what I didn’t do, that failed relationship, what that person said about me, what they didn’t say about me, how I got burned by that one ministry leader or pastor or church or how I was wronged by that person. That time I devastated somebody I loved, or was devastated by someone I loved. Whatever it is…
There is no future in your past.
Living life stuck in yesterday, keeps me from the joy of today and the hope of tomorrow. Living life stuck in yesterday leads to a bitter, hard and sickly heart that cannot receive the fullness of what Jesus wants to do in and through me.
I love this verse in Revelation 21:5 “And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” LOOK! Says God from His throne (high above every failure, every loss and every pain) I am making everything new. Wow, what hope, what forgiveness, what restoration!
Friend, Jesus set me at this keyboard today to tell you ‘there’s no future in your past!’ The road ahead of you is full of hope, healing, forgiveness, joy and the love of God. Shifting your perspective (from your rear view mirror to the road ahead of you) might not magically erase all the consequences of what you’ve done (or what’s been done to you), but it does make it so you don’t have to be defined by those things anymore. Don’t let what’s behind you keep you from missing out on what’s in front of you.
Can I suggest some application here? Spend some time in prayer and personal reflection asking this question “Am I spending more time focusing on the failures of yesterday, or the hope of tomorrow?” If the latter, let’s confess to Jesus we’re sorry for letting yesterday’s failure be a greater reality than the hope and freedom He invites us into and then with confidence - thank Him for His present hand on our lives and that He’s not done with us yet.