I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life. (George Burns)
The man who once played “God” in the Oh God movies provided some great advice above. (Good thing too since he lived to be 100 years-old)!
Whether we’re discussing eternity or just the rest of today, looking forward is incredibly important. God is a strong proponent of such future-thinking. Paul chose to forget about the things behind him in order to strain toward what was ahead (Philippians 3:13). We’re also encouraged to fix our eyes and minds on things above (2 Corinthians 4:18) – a reference to both a place and a time yet to come.
With regard to our looking backwards, God and Satan have far different objectives. God wants us to remember His faithfulness and mercy (e.g., Exodus 13:9). However, Satan wants us to remember our “crud.” He loves to take us back to before we knew Christ, or even that season since believing when we failed Him so miserably. The devil loves to point to those times and throw out accusations, “You call yourself a Christian? Look at what you’ve done – God could never love the likes of you. He just can’t forgive THAT!”
Friends, when the Tempter comes along with such trash talk, remind him (and yourself) of this truth:
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:3-5)
Notice Paul’s use of the PAST tense when describing our relationship with sin. Yes, we once WERE among those living in darkness satisfying the cravings of our flesh. We once WERE deserving of God’s wrath. BUT…and notice the change in tense here, we are NOW saved by, and alive in, Christ!
Remember, the future is where you’ll spend the rest of your life, so keep thinking forward! – Dave
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