My daughter and I attended a concert together recently. It was an absolute joy to have some mother and daughter time in light of our busy schedules. We ate, laughed, and sang the night away. Delight filled my soul as I pulled out of the parking garage to head home. But then, a loud thud and jolt brought us back to reality as the car behind me ran into my vehicle. The other driver ran up to apologize and explained he was looking backward instead of forward to see if the car behind would hit him, so he did not see me stop.
After a moment, we pulled off to the side of the area and exchanged all the insurance information. The man again admitted the accident was his fault. Then we checked the damages, and I got a picture of both cars. Finally, we headed home in a more somber mood than when we started the evening. No one was injured, and the damages were inconvenient but minor.
As I dealt with the insurance company the following day, I kept thinking about the man’s comment about looking backward instead of forward. Soon, my thoughts took me to how I could apply this lesson to my faith. Which is more important for my faith, looking backward or forward?
I remember the quote by an unknown author that says, “The past is like using your rearview mirror in the car, it’s good to glance back and see how far you have come, but if you stare too long, you will miss what right in front of you.” I think the driver who hit me can attest to this fact. We can see Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as He died for our sins when we glance back. Additionally, I believe it is essential to our faith to take a backward glance to see God’s fingerprints all over our lives as He has kept us and protected us from harm.
If we dwell in the past, we can become stuck spiritually, longing for something that is no longer beneficial to us. As a result, we might fail to see all the things Christ brings to us that are better than the things we left behind. The Bible also warns us about looking back for the wrong reasons:
- Luke 9:62 (ESV) – Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
- Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV) – “18 Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
- Genesis 19:26 (ESV) – “But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Looking out the front windshield allows us to see what is coming. We should look forward with excitement and expectation of seeing God fulfill His promises and how He will use us to further His kingdom. A forward looking faith considers the potential of a Godly adventure and is willing to go anywhere they are led by Christ. Looking forward in faith gives us a Godly purpose. And we look forward to our eternity spent with our Savior in Heaven. The Bible encourages us to look forward with our faith:
- Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- Philippians 1:6 (ESV) – “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
- Revelation 21:3 (ESV) – “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
It took me some thought and research to find any cons with a forward looking faith. When we spend our faith life only looking towards our future with God, we can miss out on the opportunities God provides. Also, our faith calls us to be active participants in sharing the Gospel, and if we are too busy planning our eternity, we fail in that purpose. Christians don’t get to skip all the living that needs to happen between birth and eternity.
Summary for Forward or Backward?
In summary, let me share a quote from Lisa Appelo that sums up my thoughts; “Look Back to Thank God; Look Forward to Trust God.” Too much time spent in the past or spending all our time waiting for Heaven causes us to miss out on living a daily life of faith. God needs our participation in this life.
Heavenly Father. Thank You for calling me heavenward in Christ. Please forgive me for the times I look back at my old life with wishful thinking and distract me from following Jesus. Please help me accept the challenges of the life of faith, trusting You to guide me and use me as You choose – for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Do you need prayer? I would love to pray for you. Submit your prayer request on my website at https://yvonne-morgan.com/submit-your-prayer-request-here/
Grace and Peace to you,
Yvonne M. Morgan is a Christian #author, #blogger, and #speaker. #BibleGatewayPartner
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Used with permission from Yvonne M. Morgan.