We are told and taught not to live in the past. Many churches have so put this into practice that there is no resemblance of anything that even remotely resembles anything from past times in the church. The music has no reflection of the past. The terminology has completely changed. The dress has changed. The décor has changed. It does not look or sound the same at all.
We are told-- I have taught it myself-- that our past will hinder and rob us of our future. Therefore, we must leave the past behind. We are not to live in the past-- in past victories, in past glories, in past accomplishments, in past movements of God. Neither are we to live in past defeats, condemnation of past mistakes, failures and sins. But we can't throw out the past altogether. As one of my former pastors used to say, "You can't throw out the baby with the bath water." We have to have a truth based balance. Lest we are confused and misunderstand what is meant when we are told to leave the past behind, I want to clarify it this morning.
There are times when our past must intersect and join to our present in order to ensure our future. The Bible teaches us to remember the past. Let me explain what I mean. On the day of Pentecost Peter took the crowd back to the past-- to the writings of Joel to explain what was going on. Moses commanded the Israelites to remember every year at Passover God's deliverance of their nation from Egypt. The great faith chapter continually reminds us of those in the past who ran the race before us and encourages us to do the same. They were given to us as examples to go back and look at often. We go back to the past each time we do.
Each time I remember what Jesus did for me at the cross, I am taking a trip back to the past-- back two thousand years ago. I have to go back to my past in order to remember the day I got saved. When I do, I am strengthened and encouraged because I remember where He brought me from and my heart is filled with praise. I remember and meditate on the times in the past when God brought me through a difficult place, or answered a prayer or met a need. My faith is renewed each time I do. It reminds me that the same God who was there in my past is here in my present. So I am encouraged to move on into the future. My past teaches me that He will not fail me because He never failed me before.
Have a great day. Sometimes we have to go back to the past in order to be strengthened in the present and move into the future.
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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