Admit it. We all do it. We’re always looking in our rear-view mirrors.Looking behind instead of forward.Haunted by the past that doesn’t want to let go of us.

Or choosing to hang onto it ourselves,somehow more comfortable with a broken past instead of an uncertain future.Choosing to continue on down the same familiar paths,rather than exploring the road less traveled.

We all know that the past is the past. It is unchangeable. None of us can take even one step in time backwards to repair the damage from our past mistakes and poor decisions.But we want to,don’t we?

If only we could remind ourselves of what Isaiah said: Don’t remember the former things; don’t dwell on things past.   Isaiah 43:18   ISV

Or if we could just remember the encouraging words of Paul: Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead…Philippians 3:13   HCSB

I struggle in this area. Big time.Maybe you do as well?

I have a tendency to want to retreat to the past,when my faith was strong and no challenge seemed too difficult.Back to a time when I would wear out the binding on my Bible and have to buy another one.To a time when the future seemed like it would offer endless opportunities.My spiritual Comfort Zone. Maybe you have one as well?

Funny thing about the past though.It really was never as grand as we like to remember it.For example, there are things in my past that haunt me and cause me to think of myself as “less than”,even to this day.

Can you relate? Do you ever hear those taunting voices of doubt? It’s no wonder that James described those who doubt as one who “is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind“.    James 1:6   HCSB

It’s kind of hard to stay on track when you’re being tossed around,isn’t it?

Our enemy is always trying to convince us that we are not good enough.That in God’s eyes,we just don’t measure up.He knows that one sure way to sidetrack our faith is to get us to doubt ourselves.And keep checking that rear-view mirror.

I don’t know about you,but it seems to me that Satan never misses an opportunity to dredge up some past failure at that exact moment when we let our guard down.It’s like we have a built in spiritual barometer. When the barometer is rising we know good weather is ahead.When it starts to fall we know that storms are on the horizon.

So it is with our walk with Christ.When we’re up it seems the world is ours for the picking.But when we’re down,that’s when we start hearing those not so gentle reminders about past sins and failures,and doubt begins to creep in.

So,what are we to do?

The obvious answer of course is to pray,read the Word,and stay close to God.No one can go wrong by following that advice,and I dare say most if not all of us would do well to heed it.

Listen and accept wise counsel from those invested in your life,particularly from those who may be in a mentoring role.God has placed them in your life for a reason.

My wife recently told me of a quote she heard about people who live in the past,and while I may have shared this previously,it bears repeating once again.”If you don’t make peace with your reflection,you will always be at war wilast-chapterth yourself“.

She went on to tell me “we can’t change our past but we can leave it at the cross and move beyond it…and have peace and thrive.Stop living in your rear view mirror.Do not allow the enemy to steal any more of your dreams”.

I saved that and read it from time to time as a reminder that the enemy can only steal from me what I allow him to take.

Living in the past is a no win situation. Plus,when we allow the enemy to drown us in the guilt of the past we are forgoing the wondrous Grace of God!

STOP looking in your rear-view mirror so often! Look ahead to the future God has prepared just for you.You may be surprised at what He has planned for your life!

Be blessed,

Ron

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