I don’t know about you but doesn’t it seem like the past year flew by so quickly? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was beginning to get used to writing 2013 on my checks and just when I got used to doing that, now I have to get used to writing 2014. Oh well, in spite of all that bother, I am very grateful I was alive to see 2014 come in and I am hopeful that I will be there at the end of 2014 to reflect on all the good things the Lord did for and through me this year.
As Christians, I believe for us to be able to reflect on all that the Lord did in and through our lives at the end of 2014 in a healthy way, we have to determine in our hearts that we will look forward in 2014; not always looking back in our rear view mirror of life. Though that may be easy for you to read or for me to write, it will take a Godly determination and strength for you and I to able to accomplish that. Sadly, too many Christians I believe will fail to accomplish all that the Lord has for them in 2014 because they will constantly be looking back at the past mistakes and failures they made in 2013.
We read in Exodus 14, after the Israelites had left Egypt, they looked up and saw Pharaoh and his army were marching after them to take them back and be their slaves again. The Israelites make their first mistake as they cried out to Moses saying, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”
Can you imagine any of us saying to the Lord after He saved us and washed our sins away, “Why did You take me away from my old way of life? I had it made back there and now that I have chosen to serve You Lord, things are not going the way I thought. It would had been better if You would just have left me alone in the first place.” Now I hope that is something we would never say to the Lord, right. Yet, in a way that is what we do each time we look back at the mistakes and regrets we had in 2013 that the Lord has already forgiven us for.
One of my most favorite verses is in the Bible is found in 1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not is us. If we confess our sins, He (Lord) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Another one of my most favorite verses in the Bible is found in Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heaves are above the earth, so great is His love (Lord) for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
No matter how many Scripture verses we read that assure us when the Lord washes away our sins, He also removes the shame and guilt of them, it still seems we easily buy the lie of the Devil when he whispers into our ears, “What you did was very bad and though you may read in your Bible that the Lord will forgive you of your sins and take away its shame, the Lord didn’t really mean that He would wash away ‘that sin’, now did He?
I believe the answer to our dilemma of constantly looking in our rear view mirror of life is found in Exodus 14:15 NKJV “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Though we don’t read where Moses had petitioned the Lord about the cries of the Israelites, it seems that he did and the Lord gives Moses and the Israelites very clear instructions, ‘Go forward.’ Those same instructions apply to the Lord’s church, His people, you and me today, ‘Go forward’
It is very difficult, in fact almost impossible for one to go forward, if one is always looking back in their rear view mirror of life and focusing on all the mistakes, failures they made. When we sin, and we will, we must come to the Lord, come clean with our sins, repent of them and then ask the Lord to cleanse our hearts. Once that is done, it is time we look, or go forward to whatever the Lord may have for us to accomplish.
2014 can and will be a banner year for you my brother, my sister, if you accept the Lord’s cleansing of your heart and never allow the enemy to plant a seed of doubt in your heart that the Lord really did that. ‘Go forward’ my dear brother and sister and do great and mighty things for the Lord’s kingdom in 2014 🙂
Categories: A Pastor's Blog