What are you looking forward to? It’s a good question. This time of year, people generally look forward to vacations, travel, camping trips, summer get-togethers with family, and some parents are already looking forward to school starting again. We look forward to such things in order to get past the grind of day-to-day routines and to have our hearts filled with joyful memories made with people we love while doing the things we enjoy.
Spiritually, we are called to look forward as well. In his letter to the believers in Philippi, the Apostle Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14 NIV).
Are we looking forward? Are we pressing on? Too often, we are not. We are entangled by weights of the past. When I greet someone, I generally ask how they are doing. The answers vary, but it always concerns me when the answers tend to focus on something that has the person feeling weighed down and held back. If you are feeling that way today, I want to encourage you to look up … look forward … press ahead … and leave behind whatever holds you back!You won’t get very far if you attempt to drive a car while only looking in the rearview mirror. That’s why the rearview mirror is so small compared to the windshield. It is fine to take a quick glance at where you’ve been in the small rearview and side mirrors from time to time, but they cannot be your focus. As we look forward, we set our minds on things above and begin to ‘see’ the unseen that helps us to do significant things for God’s glory.
We must never forget that our life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. We have to hold on to what will outlive us for eternity.
John Piper said, “Time is precious. We are fragile. Life is short. Eternity is long. Every minute counts. Oh, to be a faithful steward of the breath God has given me.” Is that your mindset today? It should be.We need to invest daily into our relationship with God. Our relationship with God powers us up for daily living. When we invest our time, talents, finances and life with God, we experience His peace, presence and His mind to guide us in our daily walk.
Part of the curse of our society is our commitment to ‘things.’ We tend to think that the more things we have the more we will be happy; the more we accumulate our ‘thingometer’ will look good and life will be happier and better. But after the Lord warned His disciples not to get mixed up with a sense of false security and self-indulgence as they had in Noah’s day, He said, “Remember Lot’s wife!” She escaped one danger only to be swallowed up by another. Why? Because she wasn’t looking forward. She had all the promises of Almighty God before her, but she chose to look backward.
Paul prayed for the Colossians to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:9-14 NKJV).
Yes, this life is temporary, but God is forever. Let us press ahead, bearing fruits in every good work and increasing in knowledge of God! There is more than this life and there is more to this life. When we yield to and plan with God Almighty as our first priority, no matter what valley we may face or victory we may experience, we know He is with us as we are walking in His direction. Amen!