Last night, I awoke at 3 a.m. for no particular reason but to think. Each minute seemed like an hour. As I lay there, I thought long and hard about the details of my life and ministry right now. As I did, I surveyed and surmised the past 10-11 months of drastic change in our student ministry. I evaluated every move I could remember. I became more and more restless the more I thought about it and dwelt on it.
And then God spoke.
I won’t tell you everything He said, but I will tell you that He told me clearly that I’m spending too much time living looking over my shoulder at the past. In fact, God has shown me that I had just about gotten to the point where I am living walking backwards; that is, really ONLY focusing on what is in the past. I can’t explain how He did, but as surely as I’m typing these words He spoke to me and gave me clear instructions regarding how I need to change.
God is a God of opportunities.
God is a God of possibilites.
God is a God of promises.
God is a God of “imagine if…”
God is a God of “wait and see.”
God is a God of “follow Me.”
None of those have anything to do with the past.
God wants me dwelling on the past just long enough to say goodbye to it, because that’s what He’s done with it.
In fact, as I consider Jesus’ earthly ministry, He spend a good amount of time erasing people’s past and setting their eyes on Him right then and into the future.
Because no matter how I slice it, the past inevitably brings disappointment (from past failures), frustration (from lack of traction and unmet goals), and an overall malaise. And therein lies an effective weapon of the enemy, Satan. If he can get you looking behind you, you’ll not only miss the blessing of God right now, but you’ll be in no position to see what God is going to do.
As soon as I had laid there and listened to God speak to me, I prayed and immediately returned to a place of peace in my mind and heart and at 5 a.m. this morning, fell asleep.