When I was younger one of my favorite things to do was to ride my bike. My family and I lived in a neighborhood that had big open roads, little traffic, and lots of hills to really get some speed. As I grew older, I continued to enjoy riding, but now my real joy is in teaching my daughters how to ride their bikes. My daughter Brooklyn is learning right now and there’s not a day that goes by where she doesn’t want to take her bike around the block. She has graduated from the parent pushed bike to now being able to peddle and steer herself. There’s only one problem when she rides: she always wants to look back at where she has come from instead of looking forward. When she does this, her bike almost immediately veers off into the grass or the gutter and her progress forward is stopped. At this, Brooklyn sheepishly looks at me and I pull her out of the grass, give her a little boost forward, but it won’t be too long until she is back in the grass again.
What happens to Brooklyn while riding her bike is something that happens to Christians many times throughout their walk with GOD. Brooklyn is excited about her progress and how fast she is riding, but there is still a glance back to where she has come from and that instinctively puts her into the grass. Often times, these crashes or detours into the grass will deflate her excitement about riding her bike and daddy will end up carrying her and the bike home. While here at Anchor Movement we have explored the “Back to Basics” series, I felt compelled to write this blog about not looking back at where you have come from, but to keep looking forward. Im not saying that we don’t want to be grateful for what GOD has done for us in the past, but what I see in our world today is individuals who can’t seem to get past their past so to speak. Why are we as a society and Christian people having so much difficulty with past experiences and present circumstances? I believe it’s because we aren’t keeping our eyes focused on what is in front of us. Too many times we get encompassed with the things that have happened to us in the past or what is happening to us in the present and we don’t allow GOD to heal those wounds and help us move forward.
I know life is hard and I realize that it can be cruel, unfair, and uncontrollable. I don’t take for granted anyones past experiences and what they have had to endure or go through in this life. Within 4 years of marriage my wife and I lost her mother to a tragic accident and a baby in the womb at 13 weeks. In between all of that was the normal struggle for any newly married couple trying to figure out life together. I can’t explain why tragedies happen. I don’t know why GOD doesn’t intervene to save innocent people from terrible misfortunes, but I do know what His word says:
“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed." Isaiah 43:18-20
What I love about this verse of scripture and the picture it paints is that even in our wildernesses and wastelands, GOD is making a way. But here is the thing about being on a path—we have to keep moving forward. GOD is making a way through our past circumstances and present trials. Psalm 23 verse 4 says that “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” We have to keep moving through where we are and where we have been. Just like Brooklyn needs to keep looking forward in order to stay on the sidewalk, as Christians we must let the past stay in the past and move into new levels that GOD has for us. What GOD has planned for you in the future is bigger than anything that has happened to you in the past. Mistakes you have made, poor decisions by others—nothing can separate you from your GOD given destiny.
Our encouragement and prayer for anyone reading this is that you will keep moving forward no matter where you are in life. GOD has not left you or abandoned you, but in reality He has made a way for you “through the wilderness.” Looking back will never propel you it will only eave you paralyzed in paralysis. Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
"We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 TPT
Over the next several weeks and months, Anchor Movement is going to focus on a series called “Back to the Basics” where we answer and define what it actually means to be a Christian. We want to answer some of the questions that new and old believers have in their walk of faith. Some examples include, “How to study the Bible,” and “Why should I go to church.” If you have a question you’d like us to answer or explore on the blog, go to our connect page and leave your response or visit our Instagram page here and leave your response in the comments.