As we start this journey through Once and Again, our goal will be to look up into the fullness of God and examine ourselves in the light of His counsel and Word.
As we look at my story – it is my prayer that you will walk with God back through yours laying aside the rose-colored glasses or any woundedness.
My pray is that while you examine yourself, the Spirit would reveal those things that Satan has set up to hinder you as you press toward the life and future God has laid before you. In reality, there are pieces of our childhood, and youth, that when looked upon through the eyes of Christ can reveal why we respond to or fall to certain attitudes and actions decades down the road.
Let’s look at it the all-knowing eyes of the Sovereign One.
Proverbs 4:25-26 says, ‘Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all of your ways be established.’
We can’t stop living in this moment but there is power in pondering the path of your feet.
Someone once said, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’
You know we were on a mission trip once driving back through Wyoming (?) when we realized we were about to run out of gas. We came to a small town with a station but it was like $.30 higher a gallon than the last town! No way I thought, and we kept driving down the interstate.
What I didn’t know was that that was the last station for FOREVER!! And as the gas hand dropped further and further down we realized there wasn’t another town or even house between here and kingdom come. We begin to pray we wouldn’t get stranded with a bus full of youth on the interstate. Thankfully about ten in the evening we rolled into a little hole in the wall station, in a town so small you could toss a rock from one edge to the other.
They are closed until 8 a.m. Our spirits dropped but we hadn’t actually prayed we’d find a station open – only that we’d make it to a station. So we made the best of it and threw our sleeping bags on the ground outside the bus and slept. We had been frustrated before thinking we were going to overpay $20 and it ended up costing us almost $40 more and we took a loss of 10 hours of travel. But come morning we were thankful and back on the road AND well rested.
The point of all of that is, we learned a lesson on what not to do. You learn from your past OR you don’t. You gain understanding and wisdom or you memorize Proverbs 30:2 which says, ‘Surely I am more stupid than any man and have not the understanding of a man.’ I really don’t want that tattooed on me permanently in my mind or on my person. Soooo Lord, help me gain wisdom.
If you want to understand the value of wisdom just dig into Proverbs and stay there a couple of months, it is a gold mine of good counsel.
Today we are not going to do that. We have full tank of gas. Time on our side and we are going to cry out for discernment so ‘stupid’ can’t overtake us. But before we take off we are going to get in the car and look back.
Wait! Sherry, wouldn’t it be easier to just drop the tailgate and sit there and examine our past?
Yes. But that’s not what we are going to do. We don’t won’t to lose today’s momentum stuck pondering the past and not faithfully position ourselves to move forward. So we are going to keep our eyes straight ahead as we ponder the path behind. We can do it – easy…
Get in the driver’s seat and look in your rear-view mirror. That will show you what is behind you yet allow you to keep moving forward.
When you look into that mirror of God’s eyes:
you can keep your focus on following Christ forward
you can see the past
as it doesn’t appear near as large as what is ahead
help make it instructional but not limit you.
I can’t undo past mistakes. But God forbid I live them over and over again in my future. Sadly, a lot of our struggles as adults are haunts and insecurities carried over from childhood. The reality is that God graced us at birth with some remarkable traits and talents but the circumstances in our lives often cause us to take them to extremes.
Being socially inclined Sally got to the point that it didn’t matter what type of people she was hanging with just that she was seen and celebrated.
Eager to learn and do things well Jane’s attitude makes her a teacher’s favorite but as she grows older she slowly transitions to the extreme becoming a manager that is a perfectionist and very hard to please.
In elementary school Mike loved to be the line leader. In high school he kept the lead and served as class president and was their state championship quarterback. Gifted with leadership skills he gets in his 20’s never having learned how to follow and has turned into an egotistical, control freak that nobody can stand.
Joe, was born with a heart and mind that doesn’t get stirred up in ‘stuff’. He lives life slow and easy and tomorrow is always a new day BUT when it’s time to work or get a job he takes being ‘laid-back’ to a whole new perspective… and gains a new label: lazy.
God placed within us beauty. Life can turn it into tarnished silver that corrupts and hides what was in reality meant to work for our (His and our) good. It’s time to look ahead with our eyes set on Christ even as God gets our past in perspective. With every turn of the wheel and step of faith we will move further and further from who we were and find all that we were created to be. Let’s go!