Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear and with a manly heart ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself… Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Philippians 3
Oh beloved, it is true. We will soon breathe the last of the air we will breathe in this body. The end of our bodies will come. Still, the problem (for the believer) is not in the dying. The question is how are we going to live now… For everything we do in this life matters forever.
We could, if we wanted, live in constant shame and regret for the enormous mass of mistake and sin and failure in our lives.
We could, if we allowed it, return to the same fetid pools of all that was wrong with our lives in the past. The temptation is real.
We could, if we really desired, reject the joy and peace and strength of the new life He has given us.
We could, if we choose to keep believing the lie, continue under the harassment of the liar. We could keep believing that we are unloved and unlovable.
We could keep believing that only way out of the pain of our lives is to try and fix it ourselves.
We could, if… and you beloved, could add in any number of other things to this list.
We could… but why?
Can we see it? The new life that Jesus has given us is not just a new way of being. Nor is it simply a new identity in Him (though it is WONDERFULLY THIS!). For beyond the change in us, we are also given a new place to live.
Brothers, we are citizens now of another realm. And the place towards which we are walking is not a dead end – it is the grandest of beginnings. We are now, even right now, part of a Kingdom which has no end. We are utterly free, and this freedom will only grow as we grow in holy union with Christ Jesus.
So… we could go back. I guess…
Are you hearing the voices of your past screaming right now? It happens. It happens to me a lot. However, I am learning something. All of these voices: The shame, the regret, the siren song of chemicals or lust or anything, the depression, the lies, and the self-sufficiency are no real competition in the light of His eternal, strengthening and healing Presence.
And… When I am simply willing to sit still for a few minutes and listen to Him through His Word and in prayer, I am beginning to actually taste of the Ages to come. Beloved, the taste is delicious, and there is no substitute in this world.
So again, you could stay – or even go back into the stuff that was killing you (and so could this fool of a writer). But again, why? There is an amazing
Home ahead of us. Tonight is your night. Time to know that you are a citizen of Heaven.
By the way. I sure do look forward to that first look into The Father’s House. I also look forward to seeing you there. Keep looking to Him! He will bring you Home too.
Written by Makala Doulos | Makala Doulos is a child of God, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, God’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “Religious work can be done by natural men without the gifts of the Spirit, and it can be done well and skillfully. But work designed for eternity can only be done by the eternal Spirit.” ~A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another ~Romans 15:14 (NKJV)