Sometimes I think that as Christians we get a little too focused on what God is rescuing us out of that we forget what He is inviting us into. Like the Children of Israel who were freed from slavery in Egypt, we tend to spend a lot of time looking backwards. At times, we are thankful for freedom. Other times, we wonder if we are really free or if something is hunting us down and it is only a matter of time before we are slaves again. And still other times, we find ourselves thinking about how much easier it was to live in bondage than it is to learn how to walk in freedom.
Regardless of the motivation, we tend to look back A LOT.
My children have this same issue…they have a hard time switching gears to think about the future. Danny and I will plan a fun family outing for them. And, inevitably, right before we walk out the door they will get into a squabble about something. We pull them apart and usher them out. But as we are driving down the road toward something really fun, they are stuck inside of the situation that just happened.
David will say, “I was trying to tell Hudson that I would give him my Batman if he would give me his Cyclops, but he wouldn’t listen!”
The younger one cuts him off with “Nuh-uh, David, that isn’t what happened!!! I told you that I wanted Cyclops AND Batman!”
Danny or I will interject and try to bring peace back to the family unity. Meanwhile, I think on the irony of driving towards something amazing while talking about something little and petty. It isn’t that our kids don’t know that we are going to do something fun. Countless times we have tried to lure them away from their squabbles by talking about what is just around the corner. But there is something deeply ingrained in them that abandons the invitation to see what is coming to stay focused on what was.
The Children of Israel were marching towards Canaan, God’s Promised Land for them. My own kids were driving towards Wahooz, the funnest amusement center in town. Both were focused on everything BUT where they were going.
It is the same for you and me. God is extending an invitation. He didn’t just reach down from Heaven to rescue us from sin. Jesus died on the cross to become the door that invited us into the promised life. In John 10:10, He said, “I came that they may have life, and have it ABUNDANTLY.”
What have you been focusing on? Has it been forward focused or backwards focused?
I think that one of the primary ways that you can tell is by your energy level.
When we are backward focused we start to feel drained of energy. Doing the things we know we should do, even want to do, can feel like drudgery. We begin to feel like we are barely making it. Surviving, but by the skin of our teeth.
When we are focused forward on the invitation things feel very different. Moving towards the Promise of God is energizing. Each step we take reminds us that we are that much closer to obtaining and possessing the things that God has designed for us.
The difference inside of our perspective changes things from a list of “don’ts” that you are trying to stay away from to a land of “do’s” that you are building a house in.
You have been invited in to a Promised Life. Isn’t it time to respond?