Why We Must Look Forward!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:9, 13,14 NIV

Whatever God has promised us–we will receive when we obey and stay in position to receive. Sometimes, our own frustration and lack of patience lead us to believe that He is slow–but then His definition of slow or fast–is not ours. After all, according to His Word, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. So we cannot measure time the way He does.

How do we apply this passage of scripture to our daily lives? Though Peter is primarily talking about the promise of heaven and our looking forward to getting there, we can also look forward–in all aspects of our lives for if we keep looking backwards, there will be no forward movement. This is why we focus on things ahead and forget about those things behind us because we cannot go back in time and change anything.

If we dare to look at the things we have done compared to the preparation of things to come, most of us see that “if” sometimes keeps us from moving forward. Let’s face it, in life, we don’t get “do-overs” as the kids do in games. We cannot stop or pause life and start over. When we recognize the misguided steps we’ve made, we learn from them and keep looking forward, our eyes on the prize or goals we established for ourselves.

How tough is that? For a person who chooses to dwell in the past and sink into the trials of doing so, this is very tough. With Jesus on our side, we are empowered with His strength when our own strength is sapped by pointless regrets. None of us are perfect and most of us have made more than one mistake in our lives, but we don’t have to dwell on the past. We look at what happened, understand why it happened and make every effort to make sure we move forward in God’s Wisdom, not our own–so we don’t repeat those mistakes. 

Let’s face it–if we walk backwards–afraid to face the future, we usually end up stumbling over some obstacle or challenge we could not see. And if we’re backing up instead of moving forward, we also demonstrate a lack of trust in God. We have no need to fear the future and every reason to embrace the future–especially when we keep on our armor to fight the battles we know we’ll have.

If we dwell on past events, we lose hope in our future and never plan to have a better ending than the one we already know. Here’s the plan–we take off the blinders that keep us from seeing the bright future God has planned for us, cast off the past as though it was a smelly garment no longer wearable and look forward–to seeing all the great things God has for us. 

He’ll Work It Out!

“The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” (Psalm 138:8 NLT)

Have you ever planned something–dinner, party, travel–and no matter how carefully you planned, there was still a glitch to upset your plans?

I’ve learned from experience that even though I plan with a checklist–there are some things we simply cannot anticipate–and that is why it is important to consult God about every aspect of our lives. When the glitches occur–He has the answer–when we listen.

But His plans for our lives–no matter how many glitches enter into the picture–will be fulfilled! The glitches that occur with His plans are us–when we choose to take another direction other than what He has planned. How do I know? I simply look back at my life and consider where I was headed and where I am now. Where I am now was part of His plans for my life from the beginning, I was just too obstinate to know it. So, when I think (and have actually asked Him), why I didn’t reach this place sooner, He reminds me of the choices I made that had nothing to do with Him.

He is such a gentleman! He never forces us to choose His path, and He will honor our choices–allowing us go against the grain for as long as we desire. When we finally reach the end of ourselves and understand that our plans–without Him–mean nothing, He’s right there–waiting to set us upon the path He wanted us on and if we listen carefully, we will see the results of His plans–that are far better than ours.

I know many people resist knowledge and belief in our Awesome God and go their own way and that’s okay. God sees and knows when we’ll turn back to Him and even when we won’t. I encourage all to look at their lives, think about whether or not their plans have worked well and then seek God and allow Him to have full control of the direction of their lives and reap His many benefits.

I have learned from experience that His plans are always better than mine and I love seeing His plans fulfilled in my life. He is so awesome and because of Him, so is my life–no matter what others may think–I have an awesome life because He is an Awesome God! He will work it out!

Thinking–Beyond Now!

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3 NKJV).

Preparation time is never wasted time, but it is time that few people ever use appropriately because they lack initiative to think beyond the moment.

Look at what Jesus said to His disciples–“I go to prepare a place for you…” How long ago was that? Whether we count the time as two thousand years or two days, we have to see the plan–for us whenever we leave.

Lack of preparation and planning are the main reasons why many people never taste success at anything. We cannot succeed if we do not plan and prepare. Preparing for eventualities means we have to consider all the possible outcomes and plan for them.

Taking a trip requires preparation–determining the cost, the method of conveyance, appropriate clothing, checking weather conditions, having sufficient income to cover emergencies.

With Jesus’ preparations He determined the cost was His life; He’s conveying us to heaven by supernatural means; we’ll be clothed with white robes, the weather will be glorious every day, and there are no emergencies to consider (no more sickness, no more dying, no hunger). Hallelujah! Praising Him for His preparations!

What are we doing? Have we considered our behavior and how it impacts the lives of others beyond this moment?

Retirement–(I’ve recently learned the hard way) takes consideration of all possible events and saving as much income as one possibly save–in order to make sure one can live (and not just exist) when they retire.

Death insurance–(commonly called life insurance)–is needed so there won’t be a burden on those left behind to put us into the ground. There are enormous costs associated with dying and many people don’t prepare for that eventuality. Unless Jesus returns before we die, we will die–and remain asleep until He comes.

Obesity--(a pet peeve)–causes a number of problems for people other than the one who has overeaten. Has any consideration been made for the possibility of someone else having to lift or carry them? Have they considered the possibility of their being harmed if they cannot move fast enough to get out of a burning house or car? Have they considered the negative impact that obesity usually has on their body? No one enjoys food more than I do, but I must also consider what would happen if I fell or needed assistance and no one being available to help me because of my weight. We need to think beyond the moment that food is in front of us and prepare for the future.

Care–for children and elderly–if parents are no longer able to care for children or elderly no longer able to care for themselves–who is going to do it? What preparations have been made for that possibility? Someone needs to prepare–in writing–if necessary plans for this possibility.

No one succeeds at anything without preparation–not athletes, not actors, not musicians, or singers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, parents, students–no one. If we really need a lesson in preparation–we can look to The Word and look around us at the squirrels and other animals that prepare for the winter and other seasons.  We can “watch the ants” and learn from them.

Learn to think beyond the moment and prepare for all those moments beyond the here and now!