Notice what happens in a race when you move forward, but you keep looking back. You can’t see the obstacles in the future, so you fall over them. You make mistakes. You hurt yourself. This is what you do when you keep looking back, while running forward. You hurt yourself because you can’t see the challenges and the hurdles ahead of you.
Here is the challenge for us as Christians, and as churches. Turn your head around. Start looking forward. Run the race that God has for you by looking forward. This means a couple of things:
1.You will only grow if you keep looking forward. You can’t say – “I want it like it was before.” Growth means that you change some things. For Christians, it may be some habits. For churches, it may be some methods and traditions.
2.You will only win the race when you look forward to Jesus. You can’t say – “I can do this all by myself.” Winning the race means that you work in a team with Jesus. Jesus is there to coach you. He is your cheerleader. He will help you win the race. But you have to keep looking to Him – not to anyone else, or anything else. Jesus needs to be your Source. This takes prayer. You have to be praying and listening to Jesus to move forward.
3.You have to believe that the future is brighter than the past. You can’t say – “It can’t get any better.” The truth is: Yes – it will get better. You have to take all of your negative thoughts and submit them to Christ. Christians need to think forward because God thinks forward. God doesn’t stay in the past. You shouldn’t either. Your church shouldn’t stay in the past.
4.You have to know that God’s love for you didn’t end when you accepted Jesus. You can’t say – “God doesn’t love me anymore.” God still loves you right where you are. He just doesn’t want you to stay right where you are. God’s love for you grows just as you decide to look forward and grow. God wants to help you with your future. Why? Because He wants you to reach the goal – eternal life with Him in heaven. You can’t there by looking back to your past here on earth. Nothing will separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ, not even your past. There is much more ahead of you in God’s love than behind you.
So keep looking forward. God has big plans for you – for you as a Christian, as father, as mother, as a student, as a couple, as a church. Keep your head up and keep looking forward. There will be much more for you with God’s love. Look forward to it.