Summary: Some people and things in our past seem to have a hold on us. Whatever it may be, our past often intrudes on our present and unduly influences our future.
Some people and things in our past seem to have a hold on us.
Maybe it’s guilt from a bad mistake, decision or a wrong we committed on another.
Maybe it’s a memory of a wrong or abuse we suffered from someone.
Whatever it may be, that part of our past often intrudes on our present and unduly influences our future. We spend so much time pondering the past hurt, insult or mistake, we lose sight of where the Lord is leading us and the dangers along the way.
Ever try driving while concentrating on your rearview mirror? What can happen?
Nothing Good! While we need to see what’s coming up on us from behind in driving,
In life, the past is the past and, other than those from the past who may want to hurt you for something in the past, constantly looking back will invariably diminish the present and cloud the future.
For years, my mom talked about how she & my dad should have never moved from their home in Virginia. It was always difficult for her to fully appreciate where the Lord brought her to, because she was always looking back at where she once was. It is only now, in her old age, that she has begun to appreciate the journey, the provisions and the blessings from God.
The ancient Hebrew were the same, while on their way to the promised land they were constantly complaining about how good it was while in bondage in Egypt:
Numbers 11:5-6 “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
There is often discomfort when moving from one people, place, or emotional connection to another; moving from the known, even if an uncomfortable known, to the unknown. It is in that discomfort that we are to seek God, seek His comfort, protection, provision, and reassurance, to seek His guidance, affirmation, and confirmation that we are heading where He wills.
For people rarely look to God when all is well and comfy and good. In their discomfort, Israel didn’t acknowledge God’s protection, provision or guidance, and that entire generation failed to step into the promised land.
Consider Lot’s wife. She is the only person in all of scripture that Jesus admonished his followers to remember, so there must be something really important about her story.
In speaking about, The Day of the Lord, Jesus says this:
Luke 17:30-32 Even so, will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife!
And no one knows when that day will be for themselves; not you, nor I, nor Lot's wife.
So, Let’s Remember Lot’s Wife.
There is very little known about her: no parentage, birthplace, not even her name.
All we know of her, to always remember, is what she did.
Gen 19:15-17, 26 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
26 But his wife looked back on what she was leaving, and she became a pillar of salt.
She disobeyed God, and looked back as He was moving her forward!
Her future was unknown to her, and though the scriptures tell us that Sodom was a pretty rough and unholy place, still she chose to focus on her past, on what she was leaving, not her future, where the Lord was leading her.
What is in your past that keeps pulling you back, that intrudes on your today and negatively influences your tomorrow?
We should learn lessons from our past, and those lessons should inform our future; but we are not to dwell in our past. Consider a former alcoholic or drug addict: they can look back and think, “I loved being drunk/high, I didn’t feel any hurt and reality didn’t intrude on my high,” or “I hated myself while drunk/high, I made stupid decisions and hurt myself and those closest to me.”