Don’t Look Back!
When you’re driving you’re supposed to be moving FORWARD. You need clear sight. Clear vision to safely arrive where you’re going. So naturally, the windshield needs to be quite large to allow for clear vision. But while you’re driving, you need to occasionally look up to the rearview mirror to evaluate what is going on behind you. But you don’t focus on the rearview mirror. In fact, if you drove down the road with your focus on the rearview mirror, you would definitely crash. You might even hurt or, worse yet, kill someone.
I believe that ministry is the same. My focus as I lead my church needs to be on what lies ahead. I need clear vision so I can safely arrive at my destination. And ultimately, if I am truly leading people, we will arrive safely at that destination together.
However, if I am constantly looking BACK through my ministry rearview mirror, I will not only have no idea where I’m actually going, I may actually hurt people and leave a path of destruction behind me.
This morning, I was praying about the church I pastor. Currently, we are laying out our Mission, Vision, and Values on Sunday mornings this January. And so I was praying and giving God a chance to speak to me. As I did that, He ultimately led me to Philippians 3:13 & 14 in which Paul writes:
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Now, obviously Paul didn’t totally ignore his past. He was honest and open about his journey all throughout his letters (including 1 Timothy 1:15). In fact, the verses that preceded the quoted ones above are evidence that Paul didn’t pretend like his past didn’t happen. It happened and he was real about it. But that wasn’t where his focus was.
My focus are on where God is taking us. I am looking ahead and following God’s Spirit into the future. I dare to dream big and believe that God can deliver on dreams that are inspired by Him.
How about you? If you are wandering in life directionless and going nowhere, maybe it’s because you’re not looking forward. Maybe you’re living in the past and therefore, you’re moving backwards. Maybe you have no direction. I challenge you today, follow the words of the Apostle Paul. Don’t look back. Look forward. And move forward in faith.