A most popular yet life-changing statement, You will never move forward, if you continue to look back, has resounded to many throughout the years. Yet even though we may agree unequivocally with its declaration, many of us struggle daily with actually living it out.
Of the many lessons God has taught me, in the course of my journey, one of the greatest has been the importance of moving forward while leaving my yesterdays behind. However in all truthfulness, it has been the hardest to master. The enemy has persistently attacked my heart and mind by tempting me to dwell on former regrets and even previous comforts. It has been a battle hard fought, to say the least. Yet countless individuals throughout God’s Word were also required to learn this valuable lesson.
Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage and onward toward the Promised Land. However in the midst of trials and adversity, Egypt came calling in the hearts of freed captives. A moment of looking back to what used to be, birthed a desire to return. The same pattern of temptation and response continues today.
Our journeys can often times become challenging when difficult moments tempt us to revert to our former days. Yet turning back will limit impending blessings. The story of Ruth illustrates this point beautifully.
Ruth had just become a widow, along with her mother-in-law, Naomi. When the opportunity came for Ruth to return to her former dwelling, she chose instead to move forward with her mother-in-law. Ruth stated, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NASB)
As Ruth clung to her mother-in-law, she knew her hope lay in progressing forward rather than turning back. Not only was she willing to let go of her former life, she also was eager to experience a newly appointed future. Eternal rewards resulted from Ruth’s decision to proceed, ones she never even envisioned. Ruth would later be listed in the very lineage of our Lord and Savior.
Let us cling to God with the same conviction as we let go of our past while taking hold of the future awaiting our grasp. Let us voice to our Father, as Ruth once exclaimed to Naomi, Where you go, I will go.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to move forward with You while refraining from looking back. Direct my desires toward the future You have appointed for my life and remove any desires that would lure me back to the past.
Written by Shea Lowery