I love it when God brings an issue to my attention, speaks to it, and then reinforces what He wants me to learn by repeating it through several different means. It’s one of the ways I know without a doubt that He loves me… because He is so tender and sweet, yet absolutely relentless in placing His truth in front of me until I get it… until it works its way past my head and into my heart.
This week, He has been showing me how deeply I’ve been mired in the muck of my past. I’ve experienced some serious loss over the years… some of it due to my own sinful choices, and some of it not. What I’m learning is that regardless of why the loss came to be, or why I found myself in those lonely and desperate places… the way I chose to respond in those situations is on me, and I need to OWN it.
One of my She Reads Truth passages this week included Philippians 3:12-14:
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do notconsider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine)
Paul knew that the past – whether good or bad – could be a distraction that would keep him from pressing forward. I want my focus to be fixed solely on the Author and Perfecter of my faith… on the Lover of my soul. He is my hope and my stability. He is my glory.
I’m also reading “Everything” by Mary Demuth (if you don’t have this book, I highly recommend you go to Amazon and order it… NOW (we’ll wait). It is SO good.) In it Mary writes:
“…we grow in the Great Right Now. He changes our hearts in this moment. Sure, we can point to the past and discern victories there, but we must not remain tethered to yesteryear. Nor can we pine for how we will grow when everything aligns appropriately.”
“Whether our past was amazing or tragic, God calls us onward and upward, beckoning us away from past tense to present tense. Our future growth depends on our ability to be an ‘am.’ To live now, uncaged, unfettered, free. To live any other way borders on disobedience.”
Hmmph. Wow. Ouch. God has me in a new place, but my longing for my old church family… my old ministry… my old life… all it’s doing is getting in the way of what He wants to do in me now. My eyes and heart are so glued to the past that it prevents me from stepping forward in faith as He leads. Not only that… it also robs me of the joy of the present. He has a will for my life NOW… here in this moment… but I’m so busy wishing for the way things used to be, and looking forward to the day when things will be what I want them to be, that I’m missing out on what the Great I Am has for me right here… right now.
Can I just tell you… I am so DONE with that! I want to be obedient. I want to be holy. I want to be happy. Walking in the center of His will for me is the only thing that’s going to bring that blessing… that peace.
He has taken hold of me, and that means everything. Lead away, Lord… I’m reaching forward.