Summary: Forsaking the Past and Moving Forward.
As we sit here this morning, I ask you this one question. Are sitting here pondering the ending to a movie we watched last night or are we focused on what lies ahead. What restaurant are we going to eat lunch at today?
I hope I have your complete attention for a few moments this morning while I discuss the art of maintaining focus on that which is most important.
24Then the Lord rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of the heavens.
25He overthrew, destroyed, and ended those cities, and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26But[Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
The problem with the world today church, is that we are to worried about what is behind us rather than what is yet to come.
The Lord graciously delivers us from things in our life, but we feel we have to continue looking back at those things.
We spend more time holding onto those things in the past versus giving God the glory and praise for bring us through them.
Sodom and on Gomorrah was a depraved city which was an abomination to God. God told Lot to get his family and leave the city to avoid certain death.
After it was all said and done, Lot and his two daughters were the only ones who made it out of the city.
The Apostle Paul refers to the Christian walk in many ways, one being that of a race.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
How many of us still want to hold onto the past, if so, we got to let it go. The past can’t be changed and by dwelling on it will only slow us down. To paraphrase Hebrews 12:1, it says to drop those things in our life that stress us out and run the race of life. We can’t run if we are toting along baggage from the past.
Church, today we live in a time of much uncertainty. In saying that, I say this. One thing I am certain of is that Jesus Christ is coming back very soon.
We got to get focused on his soon return. We have to be dedicated to the great commission while watching and waiting.
Many in church today, could say this very thing. “I grew in church and ministers have always preached that the Lord is coming very soon, and I am 60 years old.”
That maybe true, but we are not even guaranteed our next breath. We have to live everyday as it is last. We have got to be focused on spreading the word of God to a lost and dying world. In Corinthians it says:
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that yea may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Michael Johnson, Olympic Runner
Shattered world record in 200m (19.32) and set Olympic record in 400m (43.49) to become first man to win the gold in both races in the same Olympic Games at Atlanta in 1996; two-time world champion in 200 (1991,95) and four-time world champ in 400 (1993,95,97,99); set world record in 400m (43.18) at ’99 world championships in Seville; won the 400 in Sydney in 2000 to become the only man to win the event in two consecutive Olympics.
Michael Johnson would never have broken these records if he were concerned on who or what was behind him. He was focused on the finish line, that is all.
We too must keep our eyes on the prize to which we have been promised. We must forsake all that which is of the past and press forward.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales are highly trained and very smart horses. However, they still where blinders to keep them from diverting from the path. Today, we need to put on spiritual blinders.
Let us focus our attention on the future and what it is the Lord has for us.