Study from Deuteronomy 1 - 4; Passage for Reflection: Deut. 4: 9 … NIV Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
My Journal for Today: We certainly have some stark and important warnings in God’s word about looking back and dwelling too heavily on the past. We have the curious story of Lot’s wife looking back and dwelling on her past (see Gen. 19: 26); and she became a pillar of salt. And there was Paul’s exhortation in the New Testament (see Phil. 3: 13 – 14 - linked here for you) to focus on the prize which God has lain ahead of all who are born-again Christians; … and that is the prize of Christlikeness which comes from building a deep/abiding relationship with our Lord, … following Him along the narrow, but clearly marked road to righteousness.
Yes, it is true that we should primarily focus on the road ahead when we’re driving toward the future. It is said that we only use our rear-view mirror in driving to keep us from driving into the wrong lanes based upon where we’ve come from and the traffic on the road. But when we’re driving toward our destination, which for the Christian is that narrow road to Christlikeness, we keep our eyes on the road by looking through the windshield, preferably keeping it as clean as possible so that we can clearly see what lies ahead.
That’s what Moses was trying to get the people to do as we read in Deut. 1 – 4 of his admonition to God’s people as they were about to move into the Promised Land. He wanted the Israelites to remember the roads they had traveled in the past following their God; and he especially wanted them to pay attention to the laws of the road and what would happen if they ignored the laws which had been given to them for their safety by their God. And poignantly he even used himself as an example, reminding the people that he would never step foot in the Promised Land because of his own transgressions in the past as well as God’s judgment upon Moses’ leadership of God’s people along the way.
Dr. Smith, my devotional author asks today, ”Am I trapped in time, unable to escape the past, or is my rearview mirror an invaluable aid to the journey ahead?” In the ministry God has called me to lead, those who can/will avoid past trails to the tarpits of sinful living and those who can focus on God’s light shining on the path of righteousness ahead, … it is those Christians who will travel successfully into the future, following God’s road signs and moving effectively down the narrow path of Christlikeness. However, those, who cannot or will not avoid the very wide and tempting roads which the world or the flesh point them towards, will continually be lured off God’s road and crash along the highways of life as Satan leads them astray.
How’s your driving record along God’s highway these days?
My Prayer for Today: Lord, shine Your light brightly on the ever darkening road ahead so that I might follow Your Light toward glory. Amen