This post is part 1 of a 3-part series on living in the past. Stay tuned for more!
Are you someone who “lives” in the past? Someone who is sustained by memories of the past?
If so, you are not alone.
About a week ago, a friend and I had a chat, and our conversation led to us being people who use memories to drive us on, or in other words, living in the past. What does God say about living in the past? I wondered.
So, for the next few days, I looked up verses about remembering the past, and what I discovered was truly thought provoking for me!
The first passage I came across was Isaiah 43:18-19:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
God doesn’t want us to dwell on the past. He’s doing something right here, right now, and even though we might not be able to see it, He wants us to focus on what He is doing. We may be in a rough patch, struggling to cope with something, trying to cling on to what little hope there is left. Or maybe things are going great! What I find comforting about this verse is that God is saying that no matter what’s happening now, He’s has a greater plan and He’s going to make something beautiful.
Something else I discovered was that living in the past limits us. It holds is back from doing God’s will. It keeps us tied and doesn’t allow us to live to our full potential. Now, people have told me before, that you just need to put things behind you and keep going, or you will never get anywhere. But to find it in the Bible- that was a hard pill to swallow…
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
I realised that by living in the past, I was allowing myself to be distracted from discovering God’s plan for my life!
Today’s verse took me quite a while to understand.
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Ecclesiastes 7:10
Why was it not wise? I decided to look up the Hebrew word for wise.
The Hebrew word for wise is chokmah.
It means piety towards God (Job 28:28). When we ask why things used to be better, we are -and I won’t mince words- essentially not being grateful. It is disrespect towards God because we are not obeying His will and plan. Now, why do I say we are not obeying His will and plan? Simply because obeying requires cheerful willingness.
And, I’ll say, I’ve been guilty a thousand times over of not obeying God’s will for me, going over how good things used to be, trying to manipulate things to go better, and wondering why God seemed inexistent at times. I’m trying hard to change.
It’s really hard, yes.
But I guess that’s why I need God’s grace 🙂
What are your thoughts? Are you like me, someone who lives in the past? What do you do about it? Comment below⬇! I’d love to hear your thoughts!