(Luke 9:62) “Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back (to the things behind) is fit for the kingdom of God.'”
When the two angels of the Lord brought Lot and his family out of the city of Sodom, before it was destroyed by the fire from heaven, they instructed them to run for their lives and not to look back. Lot and his daughters did this, but his wife stopped and looked back. She perished as she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Some of us have had a very colorful past, where we have done things that we are now ashamed of.
We probably did these wrong things because we just didn’t know any better. In other words, we used to sin, but because it came so naturally, we were not even aware that we were sinning. Being a born again Christian, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. Now, whenever we commit a sin, we feel convicted and immediately we are aware that this is something wrong that we are doing.
We can then turn to God and ask Him to forgive us and also ask Him to strengthen us in this area of our life so that we do not give into temptation so easily. Thereafter, we may continue to sin, but once the Holy Spirit is with us, we will find that the urge to do whatever wrong things we were doing is now reduced. Hopefully, one day we will actually stand up to the temptation and say ‘no this is wrong!’ We will then have strength to overcome through Jesus Christ.
If you have recently given your life to Christ and have been born of the Holy Spirit, it is not unusual to wonder if what you are doing is the correct thing. You will hear voices all around you saying ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ since you are a Christian.
They may be genuinely seeking your interest but you can rely on the Holy Spirit, who now resides inside of you, to confirm their information.
Talk with your Christian brothers and sisters and you will be able to get a wealth of information from them. Just make sure that whatever anyone tells you is in accordance with what is written in the bible. If you have any doubt whatsoever, ask them to show you where it is written in the bible. That way, you will be able to tell if you are hanging out with the right crowd.
It is not easy to walk the life of a true Christian. I say “true Christian” because I know there are some of us who believe that we are Christians but we are not living the life God has called us to live. I remember as a young boy going to school and even as a young man, if someone should ask me “Are you a Christian?” I would be in a serious quandary and I would most times hesitantly say “Yes, of course, I am a Catholic.” But deep down inside, I was really wondering “Am I a Christian?” It was only last year when I gave my life to Christ that I knew for sure that I was now a true Christian. It has nothing to do with not sinning or praying more fluently. I still sin and I am not a prayer warrior but I now have a real relationship with the Lord. I speak to Him and I hear Him when He speaks to me.
Long ago when the schools had their annual sports event, there was a race called ‘the egg and spoon race.’ You had to balance an uncooked egg on a table spoon and cross a 50 meter distance, either walking or running. If the egg fell off the spoon, well that was it for you, you were out. Nowadays, I believe it has been changed to the lime and spoon race, so if the lime falls off the spoon, you can pick it up and start running again until you cross the finish line.
If you watch the race closely, you will see that all the competitors do one thing in common, they are focused on the finish line.
Their aim is to reach the finish line and they never look back to see what is happening behind them because they are fixed on finishing the race. This is what Jesus has called us to do. Fix our eyes on Him, He is the finish line.
Paul the Apostle wrote to the Philippians (Philippians 3:10-14) “My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” The prize is an everlasting life with our Lord and Saviour in heaven.
God does not want us to live in the past. He wants us to live for the future because He has prepared a place for us in heaven.
If only we were all able to get a glimpse of what heaven is like, I tell you none of us would want to be anywhere else in the world. I like to describe it like this: You know the temporary pleasure you get when you have received something you really wanted? Like your favorite meal when you are hungry, or your favorite drink when you are thirsty, or the promotion / raise in salary you were longing for, or when your spouse is really good to you? Well, that feeling is just for a very short time, however, in heaven you feel more pleasure than this and the feeling is permanent.
Satan, the father of lies, always wants to remind us of the things of the past. He wants us to remember the hurt, anger, pain, suffering and unforgiveness because he knows this will prevent us from moving forward. He would insist that we look back at how badly we were treated or how sinful we were before and he will try to make us feel that we are not good enough to be with God.
If ever you feel like this, just remember that Jesus died for us while we were sinners.
God promises to forget our sins once we come to repentance. All we need to do is repent, accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and do not look back.
I pray that we stop dwelling on the things of the past and we start doing the will of the Lord. Also, that we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ and put our full trust in the finished work of the cross, where He died for us so that our sins would be forgiven.
Image Credit: shutterstock/YanLev