One of the things I have learned over the years is the importance of not looking back, as it hinders you from reaching your potential and destiny in God both now and in the future.
It’s great to recall the times that God has done awesome things in our past as this encourages us, but we need to be careful to not camp out and live in that space. As I say, “nothing is ever wasted if we choose to deal with our issues and what we have experienced and then learn from it all.” However, not much good comes from continually looking or going back.
Lot’s wife is a dramatic example of the dangers of looking back when she should have been focused on moving forward. She turned into a pillar of salt after looking back at the city of Sodom, where she lived, which was destroyed because of its wickedness. She disobeyed the command given by the angels not to look back as they fled. (Genesis 19:26)
The question is, why did she look back? In the original Hebrew language, the words “looked back” indicates that she took a longing look at the city, indicating she wanted what she’d left and not what God was rescuing her from and the new life He had planned for her.
God wanted Lot and his family to trust in His direction and future for their lives. When we “look back longingly” like Lot’s wife did, we say in our hearts that we desire the things we’ve come from, even if they are unhealthy, and don’t trust where God is leading us because it’s unknown and we won’t necessarily be in control. We can let fear and not faith dictate our attitudes and decisions.
Jesus gave a very simple directive relating to our ability to walk away from our old life to the future that lies ahead.
“Some people came to Jesus and said we want to follow you….“Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” (Luke 9:61-62 Message)
Unfortunately, we can let the guilt of our past, failures, disappointments, or the desire for other things from our old way of life keep us from reaping the rewards of a new life and future in Jesus. The good news is that we can move forward, and the bible is full of the accounts of people who had past mistakes and failures and went on to better futures.
Moses murdered an Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-15)
David committed both adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11)
Solomon indulged in everything worldly (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
Peter denied knowing Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62)
Paul murdered and persecuted Christians before coming to know Jesus. (Acts 22:4)
Yet God moved mightily and redirected their lives. If they, like Lot's wife, had looked back, they would never have been able to fulfill their God-given purpose and would have remained stuck in their past constantly looking back.
I encourage you to not make the same mistake as Lot's wife and determine to look ahead and not back so that you don’t miss the blessings of today and the God-given opportunities, freedom, and better life awaiting you when you look to Jesus and His plan. If God wants something or someone in your life, He will work it out in His timing and cause it to be a blessing rather than something or someone you are trying to hold on to in your strength.
Today, set your course and look ahead to the future; “Forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should have this attitude.” (Philippians 3:12-14 AMP)
There are far, far better things ahead so look ahead to where your future lies.
“He made everything appropriate in its time. He also placed eternity within them—yet, no person can fully comprehend what God is doing from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 International standard version)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
Prayer: Lord, please help me keep looking ahead and not behind, so that I may reach toward all you have for my future. Thank you that my future lies ahead and that you make everything beautiful in its time and you work everything out for my good. In Jesus name Amen.