I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Deep Thought Thursday: Don't Live in the Past

Phi 3:13-14 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

I love this verse, because it is encouragement in two ways. First of all, it reminds us to forget those things which are behind; to forget our past with our shortcomings and sin before we came to know Christ, and focusing on doing our best for God from here on out. (Think II Cor. 5:17)

But also, it reminds us that the things we've done FOR God in the past, are the PAST. We cannot live on past victories. We were never meant to. Past victories are to be an encouragement to us, and remind us of God's faithfulness, but we aren't to LIVE there.

God wants to do new works in and through us EVERY day. So what if ten years ago you had an amazing time winning 50 souls to Christ in one year, or "back in the day" you used to be quite a preacher.

It's like being 50 and boasting about the day you won the big race when you were ten.

Or being severely out of shape and putting on your old cheerleading outfit.

It's just not cool anymore. It doesn't fit. It's restrictive. (and ridiculous)

It's restrictive because it puts God in a box. It limits the way He can use us, because we are looking only for those same kinds of experiences we so fondly remember. Maybe the things He had for us to do in the past were amazing; they make great stories. But when we dwell in the past, we don't make room in the NOW for God to use us. We aren't opening our eyes to the things He is giving us to do, the people He would have us minister to NOW.

Because bringing someone a meal just doesn't sound as awesome.

But trust me, it is. Especially to those who receive it.

I don't know about you, but when I retell an amazing story, I sometimes get carried away. I change things in small ways until eventually the story I tell is nothing like what really happened. We cannot afford to do that with our ministry past. Because we will end up downplaying the role of God in the experience, and making it more about US, and what WE did for God.

Please don't misunderstand: when facing hard times, we can pull out great memories from our past to remind us that God is at work in our lives. We can mull over them, recall every detail of how God worked, and we can thank God for His faithfulness. Then we can tuck them safely back into the recesses of our memory, and save them for another time.

And living in the NOW is much more exciting than living in the THEN.

Because the NOW is life. The THEN is history.

2 Comments:

  • WendyMom

    There is so much value in remembering the past victories, through Christ of course- but I keep them in a journal so I CAN'T change them! God gives us the experiences He does because they're right for us- AT THAT TIME.

    Thanks for the awesome reminder to look at today, seek His will, and work in it- now. Go check out my blog- it fits well with this one!

    Missing you and loving you-

  • Joni

    I feel like God is preparing me for something HUGE right now. He continues to soften me and mold me to be the woman HE wants me to be for His plan and purpose. It's painful but it feels good at the same time...is that weird? I'm sure you understand.

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