Past, Present, Future

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As we step into 2020 it’s a good idea to take stock in where we are in our relationship with the Lord.

For many years now the Lord has kept me focused on a couple of scriptures that have a direct impact on my walking in His perfect will. The last few years He has had me focus directly on spiritual maturity and the process and path that He has set out for us to be successful in our walk. But in the years prior to giving me Romans 8:28-29 to focus on, He gave me Matthew 6:34 as my starting place.

Matt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. NKJV

He underlined that for me with a translation of that verse that hit home… live one day at a time!

In looking ahead to 2020 and the world we live in, that certainly is appropriate. But there is more underlying that verse than just putting your head down and trying to get through without the baggage of the past of the fear of the future.

While the key focus is today, we cannot ignore the importance of not reflecting on yesterday; all our effort will not change it. Nor should we spend time reflecting on the future because it isn’t here. And along with that is the fact that what we fear about the future usually never comes to pass.

That said, the past and the future hold some things that God will use from time-to-time in our life for His benefit. Take for instance how we view the past versus how He does. We tend to either focus on all the great things that happened or the bad things, both of which can impede our spiritual progress today.

While we may be focused on the successes of the past and haunted by the memory of past sins, God will sometimes allow those memories as part of our path to spiritual maturity today. He uses them as checks and balances to keep us focused on what He is doing in our life today. It’s the same for the future.

Isa 52:12  For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. NKJV

If we are solely focused on tomorrow, we likewise open up ourselves for missing what God is doing today that will directly affect our tomorrow. If there is something in our future that needs our attention today, God will make it clear. But if we are constantly thinking about, hoping in, or fearing the future we will never hear His voice. We may miss what He is saying that has a direct impact on tomorrow.

The bottom line is that we look at the past and the future with the eyes of the flesh, opening ourselves up for confusion… we know where that comes from (1 Cor 14:33). God uses the past and the future for our benefit, right where we are today. Any other reflection on the past and the present on our part will only have a negative impact on today. Unless led by the Lord they rob time away from today. The past is gone and we can’t change it. The future is not here and we can’t foretell it.

Today’s 1440 minutes are all we have. Let’s not waste them on idle thoughts about things we can’t change. For me, that is the key to a verse that I am reminded of every morning…

Ps 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. NKJV

Stay focused on where God is today and we can will be able to rejoice and be glad.

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