Daily Reading & Prayer
Don’t Look Back Now
Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife!”
Luke 9:62 “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’”
One of the vital lessons a track runner learns is to never look back. It doesn't matter if you feel like you are ahead in the race—never look back. Doing so could be disastrous; maintaining your pace and focusing on the finish line becomes nearly impossible while glancing over your shoulder. For a hurdler, even a momentary look backward or to the side could lead to calamity and pain. In the precise world of track, where time is measured in milliseconds, that glance back could be the difference between breaking a record and missing qualification.
Jesus cautioned his followers about looking back. He went as far as to say that someone consumed by what's behind isn't fit for the kingdom of God. He also warned that when he returns, there's no need for concern about anything behind. He used Lot's wife as an example of what not to do.
In Genesis 19, after Abraham pleaded for Lot's deliverance from Sodom, God's messengers gave simple instructions: “Don't Look Back!” Lot's wife disobeyed and became a pillar of salt in a desert land—worthless and unproductive! God's message to us is clear: “Don't Look Back!” When we linger too long on what's behind us, we become ineffective in the present, jeopardizing our futures.
Breaking away from our past can be tough, but it's crucial for our spiritual well-being. It's imperative that we move forward, resisting the urge to dwell on what's already gone. Looking backward requires no faith. Being fixated on past glory or failures cripples us spiritually, paralyzing our growth and straining our relationships.
Our relationship with God hinges on faith in the great I AM. Looking back only serves us when it's part of our testimony, affirming our hope or expressed in thankful prayer. Dwelling on an unchangeable past wastes our “right now,” and undermines the transformative faith that saves us. So, the temptation to look back, whether in grief or reminiscence, steals from our present and diminishes the faith that breathes life into our existence!
Think about your life and identify areas where you may be lingering in the past. It could be past successes, failures, relationships, or experiences that continue to occupy your thoughts. Ask for God’s strength to help you release the grip of the past on your present and future. Set realistic and faith-filled goals for your future.
God, you know the weight of my past and the struggle I face moving forward. Help me to release the grip of my past to you and embrace the possibilities of the present and the future. Help me set goals that align with your purpose and grant me the strength to pursue them faithfully. In Jesus’ name. Amen.