A False sense of security
When we look back and constantly live in the past it seems to offer us a sense of safety even if the situation we were in was a dangerous one physically, emotionally or mentally. I believe this is so because as humans, change and newness always bring with it a sense of challenge, stretching and definitely the unknown. But in the past we find comfort because we know all that we were dealing with, it was familiar even though it was not easy. Sounds strange, I know but I have seen time and time again in ministry where people will choose to go back to abusive homes, manipulative relationships and immoral lifestyles just because it’s familiar and provides a false sense of security.
I grew up in an abusive home and it seemed easier to deal with the abuse than to open up to someone in authority for help; again it was the unknown of the future that kept me bound to that situation. Today I write about moving from the past and looking forward because the life that God has for His children is always better than what we will leave behind. The children of Israel were no different from us today, Even though they were slaves in Egypt and cried out to God for freedom and help they never seemed to let go of the past and the bondage that felt familiar to them. Their lives were plagued with beatings and hard labor from their taskmasters. The Hebrew men were belittled and disrespected in front of their wives and children and they cried out to God. We are told in scriptures that God heard their cries and remembered His covenant with their forefathers and sent a deliverer, Moses to bring them out of Egypt.
I find comfort and encouragement from this story of the Exodus while it may have ended tragically for many it serves as wisdom to us who study their lives to learn from their mistakes. Many times we cry out to God to save us from our situations but truthfully we want the saving on our terms and not His which breeds disappointments and that causes us to look back. If only we could come to place in our lives where we believe God’s plan is better than ours. The Israelites wanted to come out of bondage but they did not trust God in the process and as a result, they longed to go back to Egypt for the false sense of security Egypt provided for them. They did not see the wilderness as temporary or that God was with them in the coming out and all they could think about was what they had in bondage.
Holy Spirit, help me today to let go of the familiar and the false sense of security of the past. Please help me to trust you with this process.
The scriptures teach us that as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). If we were to examine this closer we would be able to see that most of what we act out in life finds its origins in the thought life. Day after day whatever we ponder on, meditate on and dwell on becomes a reality sooner or later. Our thoughts are very powerful and will eventually determine the kind of future we will experience. Have you ever heard the saying, “Follow your heart?” Well, there is so much truth wrapped up in that saying and even the bible talks about our heart following our treasure. (Luke 12:34). Our heart was made to follow the ultimate treasure which is God himself but only Jesus could give us the heart to understand that, and without this understanding, we will end up chasing treasures of this world which are of lesser value.
Looking back and living in the past constantly is a clear indication that you believe your treasures are somehow still buried there. There is a woman in the bible that only went by the title of Lots wife and her heart was so caught up in the treasures of this world that she could not see the grand future God had planned out for her. I am sure many of you have heard of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of fire and brimstone that rained down and ruined them. Lot’s wife lived there with her family and thought it was a place of much immorality and disgraces, her heart was very much tied to it. But because of the prayers of Abraham God was willing to save Lot and his family from the devastation. God allowed them enough time to escape with this instruction, “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain.” (Genesis 19:17).
When I think back on my life I am so thankful that God did bring me out of many situations that would have only resulted in my destruction had I stayed there. In the moment of having to leave behind people, possessions and relationship we hold close and dear to us may seem like the most difficult thing to do. But when you put your trust in the One who knows best the present pain will eventually turn into the greatest gain in life. Lot’s wife’s treasure was so buried in the city she had to leave behind that she was not willing to trust God with the future. The bible tells us that as she was leaving the city she “Looked back” and was turned into a pillar of salt. The truth about looking back constantly and living in the past is that it will drain the very life from you. Let us heed the warning of God and make sure our heart is following Him.
Holy Spirit, help me today to leave the past behind and lead me to an abundant life ahead!