How is your driving? Would people consider you a good driver? Are you able to back up without going in a ditch? When I learned to drive, I learned to back up well. We had a long driveway with a bad ditch on either side, so learning to back up properly was a must. I remember the real estate lady backing into the ditch when she took us to see the house. It took forever to get her car out of the ditch.
While learning to back up properly serves its purpose, it is more important to learn how to drive forward. Let’s face it; you typically don’t get from point A to point B by backing up. You drive forward. In fact, if you tried to back up everywhere you went, you’d end up getting a ticket or possibly even arrested.
We seem to understand this concept when it comes to driving, but we fail to grasp it in life. We cannot live our lives looking back. We won’t get very far.
In Genesis 19, the angel of the Lord commanded Lot to take his wife and daughters and flee Sodom so they wouldn’t be swept away in the destruction God was bringing upon the land. Lot’s wife didn’t obey and it didn’t go well with her [vs. 26].
Jesus made the same point about looking back in Luke 9:26 “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” It is difficult to move forward when you are focus on what is behind you.
The Apostle Paul understood this concept more than anyone. In Philippians 3:10-14 he said “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
If we want all the Lord has prepared for us, all He has ordained for us to do for and in the Kingdom, we have to look ahead, not behind. It is fine to reminisce, but our focus needs to be forward.
Hebrews 12:2 puts it best. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.