There is a whole lot to ponder in that statement and the word “future” could keep us pondering for days. I may be dating myself again but back in 1970 Alvin Toffler wrote a book that captured the attention of at least 6 million people who bought the book… Future Shock. His message surrounded the premise that the future has invaded the present with alarming anxiety. He postulated that society is undergoing an enormous structural change and that there is “too much change in too short a period of time.” One look around and it’s certainly easy to agree with that. Well, I read something this morning that made me stop and think about the other side of his statement… The future is God’s norm for His present gift of grace. What a contrast! From overload to peaceful confidence.
Think about that. God knows what our future can be and then He sets us free of our past so we can be about the business of getting hold of what He has prepared for us. It sure puts what Jeremiah said in perspective…
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
God wants to give us a future and a hope! The problem is that we struggle in our attempt to make the “past” the norm for the present or we try to hold onto the “present” as the norm for the future. So that’s why God wants us to take hold of His vision for the future, because that’s the only way we will ever begin to realize His promises. And there is a HUGE reason why that is so important.
Hos 11:10a They shall walk after the Lord:
God was envisioning a time, in the future, when Israel would once again live in a loving, trusting, and obedient relationship with Him… the Lord of the future. And that future He has planned for us is one of awesome potential that is only revealed through a relationship with Him. And that is the reason that God has placed the message of walking with Him so deeply into my spirit. It’s only through our commitment to walk with Him that our present can be changed, and become the “new normal.” Remember the words of Amos…
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
And the key to that verse is the word “agreed.” In the Hebrew it means “met.” Can two walk together unless they have met and decided to walk together? And it also supposes that once they have met that they will walk together toward a set destination. That is the only way we will discover that God believes in our future more than our past. When our repentance makes it possible for us to walk alongside Him through this life, He is able to unfold possibilities for us that we never even dared to imagine. And the most amazing thing to me is that God is not into “group think,” He is into “individual think.”
Jazz singer Sue Rainey wrote a song years ago entitled Was He Ever Lonely. Did you ever think about the fact that God can get lonely? Well, neither did I until I let the thought that He called me, chose me, and loves me as an individual sink in. That means that I hold a special spot in His heart, and that means that there is an empty place in His heart that only I can fill and when I’m not filling it He gets lonely for me. Turn that around and there is an empty place in our heart that only God can fill… and we get lonely when we don’t let Him fill it.
Woody Guthrie wrote a song years ago entitled Lonesome Valley and the key refrain was…
You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.”
But Erna Moorman added another verse that took the “lonesome” out of our present walk in the valley and opened up the door for the future to become the present…
As we walk our lonesome valley
We do not walk it by ourselves
For God sent His Son to walk it with us
We do not walk it by ourselves
And that is how Jesus makes it possible for His future for us to become our norm… to begin living today the future life He has planned for us, the plan that has an expected end. We just need to remember that He is waiting for us and while He is waiting… He gets lonely.