By Leslie Attong
I’ve been thinking recently about how quickly time seems to be going. I know we’ve all thought about it, and we often wish we could somehow slow time or revisit it – and somehow make it “better”, so much so that some of us not only visit the past but dwell there.
If we are, as we proclaim to be, people of faith, then that faith must translate to us looking forward. We must be future focused.
If we are aligned to God’s promise in our life, then it means that we must continue moving forward, even, and especially when the future isn’t clear, when we don’t understand why we are being called or moved in a certain way.
The story of Lot’s wife comes to mind when I think about moving forward in faith. Even though she knew that they were following the Lord’s command, she could not help but look back and in so doing, remained forever looking back.
Stuck forever, wanting the past, favouring that which was not part of the future, forgetting the promise that God had made on their life and, knowing that God was destroying the past, being so tied to it, she could not resist looking back.
How many of us are caught in that pattern? How many of us, even when we know what God is calling us to do, the life we are being called to live, keep looking back? Keep going back to the life that God is calling us to leave.
In modern psychology, we term it “the comfort zone”, and we know that even a toxic thing, a toxic habit, can become comfortable because it is what we know. It is where our friends are, it is where we can be popular, where we can be a social media sensation but, is it where God is calling us to be?
Is our comfort zone our Sodom? And are we Lot’s wife?
We should not think of this only in “big and life-changing” things, but what in our everyday life are we being called upon to leave in the past? What are we being called upon to turn our backs on and not look back?
Is it jealousy? Is it anger? Is it hatred? Is it being petty and proud? Is it simply to stop questioning God’s plan for our lives and really walk in faith, knowing for sure that His plans for our lives are solid?
As Jer 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ ”. If we really placed our faith solely in God, then we know that His plans far surpass ours. We would therefore stop trying to control the outcomes of our lives, we will stop trying to hurry God and deeming His answer not worthy and taking matters into our own hands.
As we move into the next half of 2023, may we take a firm decision to stop dwelling in the past. May we remember that as children of God, our Father has our best interest at heart.
May we ask God to reveal to us the areas in our lives that we need to forever turn our backs on, the areas that we need to stop being stuck in and truly move to a life, where we place God at the centre of our lives.