"But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:26)
Looking back was a mistake...a really big mistake. But many today would not blame Lot's wife for wanting one last glimpse of her home. It must have been heartbreaking to leave behind everything she knew, especially knowing dear friends were in danger. But looking back was also a deadly blunder. As soon as Lot's wife turned around for a last glimpse of Sodom and Gomorrah, she became a pillar of salt. The take-away? It never ends well when we fail to listen to and obey God.
When God calls you forward, don't look back. The story of Lot's wife is a true cautionary tale that warns us of the dangers of looking back instead of focusing on God and choosing to move forward. It's a lesson we would all do well to heed. When God calls us to move on from a situation, He does so for a reason. He knows what's ahead for us as well as what's best for us. Trusting in His plan is essential if we want to walk in power and avoid the pitfalls in our paths. So, when it's time to move on, don't look back; keep your eyes on the prize and trust God to lead you to where you need to go.
Lot's wife didn't listen to the warning of the Lord and chose to disobey Him, turning back to what represented her old, sinful life. From her example, we see how vital it is to guard our hearts and minds from straying from the narrow way, no matter what others are doing.
Let's boldly follow where the Holy Spirit leads and make something great happen! Let's turn away from the things God hates, asking Him to transform us and to help us seek Him with our whole hearts, souls, minds and bodies. Let's respond to God's Spirit and fall in love with Him all over again, returning to our first love.
At this point, I want to share five things that we should never look back on. If we take heed to this list, our lives will never be wasted on useless and foolish things, and Heaven will greatly rejoice over our fruitful race. The cloud of witnesses is watching, waiting for us to run with all diligence the race God has set before us.
Don't look back at:
1. The Sin God Saved You From (Think of Lot's Wife)
The sins of this world have nothing to offer, and neither does a shallow, empty, lukewarm and carnal life.
"Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will not be put to shame." (Isaiah 50:7)
The Father's greatest desire is for your life to reflect His holiness and glory, and not end in shame or disgrace. Therefore, He commands us to set our faces like stone, with a fierce and relentless determination to do His will and to live according to our destiny.
There are some who have been saved from the miry pit because the great Shepherd left the ninety-nine to go after the one. They were like the lost lamb who was broken and hurting when God reached out to snatch them from that pit. Perhaps they were there due to their own foolishness, or perhaps it occurred through no fault of their own; but no matter the reason, God loved them enough to touch those wounded places and restore them as only He could. His healing virtue touched the wounds of the past, restored them to health and placed their feet on solid ground. (Photo via Pixnio)
But now, satan is causing many to focus on the past and stray toward the very same pit where memories, shame and regret distract them from the glorious, narrow way they've known so well. Right now, our heavenly Bridegroom is raising up a Bride who will set her face like a stone, determined to do His will. She will not glance to the right or the left, or look back, but will focus only on the One she loves most, because it is in that place that He will guide her with His eye (see Psalm 32:8).
2. Your Past Sins and Failures
"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)
Here Paul was saying, I'm not there yet. I haven't reached my goal yet. But one thing is for sure: it's time to stop focusing on the past and start reaching out to finish our race, winning souls while there's still time!
It's easy to get caught up in the past and dwell on things we can't change, but when we do that, we're no longer able to step forward and follow the Spirit's lead, accomplishing our next assignments as unto the Lord. Satan's goal is for us to be haunted, distracted and powerless to move forward; he wants us to spend the rest of our days wearing rags and begging for the love God has already displayed so beautifully. When he comes to accuse us, we must speak out the truth of God's Word – that after we confess and repent, He's already forgiven us, and given us the authority to step on scorpions and demons' heads, putting them under our feet, and refusing to receive his lies.
So, while we can do nothing about our past, we must get excited, knowing that the best is yet to come for those who trust in Him and walk moment by moment according to His Word. Let's focus on Christ and step out in obedience to our King of kings, watching Him move in signs and wonders, just to reveal His glory to those who need it most! Let's decide to forget those things that are behind and reach for those things that are before. It's time to live life to the fullest!
3. Missed Opportunities
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Living in regret will stifle and hinder your ability to move forward toward your goals. He is the God of restoration, so ask Him for new opportunities. Sometimes, people gaze at and grieve over missed opportunities, believing all is lost. If they're stuck in grief mode, it's hard to embrace new opportunities or even recognize them when they come. But God is raising up a Bride who will stop mourning and instead run after Him to receive the new opportunities He has for them. It's time to shed those grave clothes, because it's going to be glorious!
4. Past Pain and Hurt
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – My great army that I sent among you." (Joel 2:25)
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Scripture promises that our God is a God of restoration! He will restore all that the locusts have eaten in our lives, if we will refuse to hold on to pain, bitterness and resentment, and allow Him to heal our hearts and restore us. If we truly love and believe Him, standing on those promises, He will work all things together for our good, according to His purposes. Scripture goes on to say in Genesis 50:20 that even the harmful things the devil meant for evil, God will turn around for good, when we truly trust and wait on Him. And as we forgive those who hurt us, choosing to move forward instead of playing the victim, He will turn every scar into a star.
5. The Former Things
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)
"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it?..." (The Message translation) (Photo via Good Free Photos)
The truth is that we are to honor the past and appreciate what the Lord has done; but in this instance, I believe the phrase "Forget about what's happened" means to be satisfied with what God did yesterday, but to hunger and thirst for a fresh move of God. Though I truly love what God has done before, I refuse to be satisfied with the former glory; I yearn for a fresh new awakening to touch our country and change our world. We must be careful not to get stuck in past moves, miracles and manifestations. We must ask Him for a fresh wave of His Spirit to usher in great and mighty things He wants to do now.
Now, Move on and Move Forward!
We have an open invitation to enter the sacred place of intimacy with our Lord. The holy lantern is always burning as the heavenly Bridegroom bids us come closer to Him. It is there that time stands still, and the very atmosphere of Heaven fills the inner chambers of our King.
We're approaching times and seasons where the Bride of Christ must diligently prepare for main events by keeping her lamp filled to the brim with fresh oil. Even now, rivers of living water are flowing from the deep places within her. The enemy knows his time is short, so he's doing his best to hinder and distract, using the past as a weapon against us! He'll do whatever it takes to prevent us from waging war against him. He wants us defeated, curled up in fetal position on the battlefield. He'll use all these issues to distract your focus; so don't let it happen.
In this place, the Bride of Christ must not look back, but instead look forward with great anticipation for what God is doing in this hour. In this moment, let's be alert and on guard, walking in harmony with God's Spirit to win the prize.
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)
The "good fight" is a difficult and demanding task, but one that will lead to victory if we lean on Christ. It takes strength of character to persevere through these times when all seems lost. We must have faith to defeat the past in order to succeed. The apostle Paul made this profound statement:
"I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course will all my might and I have kept my heart full of faith. There's a crown of righteousness waiting in Heaven for me, and I know my Lord will reward me on His day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for His unveiling." (2 Timothy 4:7-8, TPT)
We are the Lord's beautiful Bride, fighting the good fight and finishing the race. We are keeping faith in a world that is trying so hard to stop it. The Lord can boast of us because we are His faithful followers. He has given us everything we need to triumph, and we are doing just that. We are the Bride who stays true to our Bridegroom, even when the world is against us. We are the Bride who keeps fighting, even when it seems hopeless. We are the Bride who never gives up on our faith, no matter what. We are the Lord's beautiful Bride, and His heart is moved toward us. He sees your beauty, dear one!
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Steve and his wife Diane¬†founded Refuge Ministries and a presence-driven publishing company, Deeper Life Press. He has a special anointing to bring forth the deep truths of the Spirit, with a clarity and simplicity that draws one up into a closer walk and deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Steve is a regular contributor to many prophetic publications, including the Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and the Identity Network. Steve's books, maturity pamphlets, articles, and videos have touched countless lives around the world. The Porters reside near Rochester, NY.
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