Some time ago, I wrote a devotional about not worrying about tomorrow because tomorrow holds its own worries.

But it occurred to me recently, that just about as often as we worry for tomorrow, we fret about yesterday.

How many times do we find ourselves saying, “I wish things could be the way they were, I wish I was younger, I wish I could fit into those jeans again, I wish I didn’t make that terrible mistake.”

The Lord doesn’t want us constantly looking back at what once was. Our enemy does—he wants us to feel discouraged and helpless and ruminate over and over on what we can never change.

Sure, if we need to repent or make something right, we ought to go ahead and do it.

But God doesn’t want us drowning in self-pity or regret about past mistakes, or hopelessly longing for what can never be again.

He wants us to look ahead. He wants us to say, “Forget what was. The future is where my destiny lies and I will meet the Lord there in His purposes for me.” That’s faith.

And it’s well based in everything Jesus has done for us, promised us, and called us to.

Let’s stop looking back in fear or bondage to the past—it’s long gone already. Let’s move ahead and press toward the new things that the Lord has for us in our lives. Our God is always making things new, and redeeming what was before.

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

–by George Whitten

12 Responses to Stop Looking Back

  1. Kenneth says:

    Dear Eric,
    Many Christians have gone through such a situation as yours including myself. Sometimes we pray expecting God to answer in a particular way and not according to what His plan for us is. God may be wanting to use you as you are to be a testimony to others in similar situation as yours. If you are getting “The Christian Heart” messages from this ministry it has many testimonies of people who have gone through very difficult situations and God did not get them out of those situations but God has used their situations to minister to others through those difficult conditions. In 2 Corinthians 12: 7 – 10 Paul had a thorn in his flesh that he prayed to God to take it away but God did not. Sometimes God wants to use as as we are in our weakness. We just need to pray that God reveals his will and his plan in every situation that we find ourselves in. It is my prayer that God will speak to you just as he did to Paul and let you know why he has not taken this thorn away from you. Just trust Him He is faithful to the end. Shalom.

  2. Kenneth says:

    Dear Gary Turner,
    What did you want to hear ? That you can look back and still enter the kingdom of God? The message is very clear and many Christians and churches fall in the mistakes of sugar coating the gospel to make it look attractive and not telling the hard facts.

  3. Juliet says:

    Compare your calling with the word of God ..the Bible and look carefully if there is not contradiction..if not then ask for his favour and help,.. When we are tired ..then the battle is getting to an end.. Try a little more,.

    • Eric says:

      Juliet and others who have replied, thank you. I sincerely appreciate it. To answer your question, the calling I believe God placed on my life nearly 51 months ago is probably the most Biblical calling a man could be given.

      I wasn’t going to get into the details but my wife left me 51 months ago. A week or two after she left, I was in church one Sunday morning and I’m fairly certain I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me to tell me (1) “I am going to save your marriage.”, (2) “It will be for my glory.” and (3) “It (my reconciled marriage) will become your personal ministry in life for me”. Since that day, I have stood in the gap for my wife as I believe the Lord asked of me. I have fought for my marriage with all that I am, pouring out all that I am in the process. I tried to run from it a couple of times but God kept turning me around and putting my feet back to the path of waiting. I received TONS of “spiritual” confirmation through the Word, teachings, devotionals and even through some prophetic words of one well known teacher…but there has been nothing in the real world to show that I was doing the right thing…nothing…absolutely zilch.

      A little over 2 years ago, I was in prayer one morning (I spend 2-3 hours a day in dedicated prayer/study time) and I cried out to God “God, I’ve wasted 2 years of my life already”. He immediately responded with “You didn’t waste them. You gave them to me.” He then went on to say “What if I need 2 more? Your wife will still be young, 31 and will still be able to bear you the sons I promised (Psalm 128; one of the promises I believe He spoke into my life regarding my marriage)”. I argued with Him about how difficult that was going to be but ultimately ended up telling Him “Not my will but your will be done”…and then I waited…2 more years. Well, 19 Dec 17 was the end of those “2 more”. God didn’t say “What if I need 2 years and a day…or 2 years, 3 months…or 2.5 years?” He said 2 more and He knows how I’m wired…how “literal” I am. So, when 19 Dec 17 came and went without ANY indication He was even in this, I tried to walk away again…but here’s where the real problem is.

      I’ve immersed myself/my life in Him so completely, there is NO OTHER WAY TO GO without walking away from Him in the process. This experience has damaged my faith SEVERELY. I’ve now reached a point where I can hardly even open His Word to read it b/c of all the promises I stood on that came back void…even simple things such as seeking Him for Wisdom and direction. He has been eerily silent as of late and I’ve reached a place where I’ve pretty much lost any will I have to live.

      To be clear, I did NOT wait for my wife just out of my love for her. I did NOT wait for my wife for myself. I did it b/c I believe God wanted me to do this…and I thought He was doing a VERY DEEP work in me through the process…but NO FRUIT IN THE NATURAL WORLD finally took it’s toll on my faith and it has been wrecked. 6 months ago, I would have told you that while the last 4 years of my life have been the most difficult I’ve ever experienced, I would not trade them for anything in the world b/c of the work I believed He was doing in me, through this process…the deep and abiding relationship He was building with me was beautiful and I would not have traded that for anything in the world. Then 19 Dec came and went. I cannot reconcile that with the God I know from Scripture. I cannot reconcile reality with my faith. Consequently, this has just about destroyed my faith completely. Thankfully, I know my eternal destiny is secure. The thing is, I had a similar “knowing” (in reference to our saving faith) in my spirit about His calling on my life too. This was one of the reasons I thought He was directing my steps.

      Kirwa, I’m not sure how but you just hit on 2 of the 3 promises God gave me FOR my marriage. Those promises are Isaiah 43:18-19, Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Psalm 128.

      Lastly, I’d like to mention, I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours in prayer over this…quite literally. My prayer journal has grown by over 2000 typed pages during this period of time in my life…but here’s my point. I BEGGED God NOT to allow me to be deceived in this. I left every door open for Him to move me in a different direction and He did not. I sought Him with all that I am. I had spiritual mentors checking me (1 pastor and 1 elder) and both thought I was on the right path here. I’ve tried to examine absolutely EVERYTHING that has transpired in my life during this time period from every angle possible…doing my absolute best to remain as objective as possible. I’m a very logical thinker and I’ve done my best to make sense of this but have been unable to, to date.

      Linda, thank you for your prayers. I would go in to talk to a Christian counselor in a heart beat. That said, I have had some bad experiences with a VA shrink in the past and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have the same spiritual values I have. I saw a Christian psychologist for a couple years after my wife first left but he ended up having a massive stroke and it takes time to build up enough trust to get to the root of your issues. As someone who suffers from PTSD, I’m careful about who I speak to and what I say b/c innocent notes in your file can be used against you. I had one VA shrink put a note in my file that said “Vet is a threat to himself and others.”, simply b/c of my memory issues from exposure to nerve agent. She reasoned that b/c I left my oven on frequently, I’m evidently a threat to those around me.

      Juliet, the second half of what you wrote speaks hope…which is something I desperately need b/c honestly, I don’t have any for this side of eternity any longer.

      Thank you once again for your thoughts and prayers Folks. They are sincerely appreciated. God bless!!!


  4. Kirwa says:

    He has delivered us the Mighty God.
    Philippians 3:13 – forget what lies behind and strain forward for the future
    Isaiah 43:18-19 – God is doing a new thing
    Jeremiah 29:11 – He has the best plans for us.

  5. Gary Turner says:

    You’re obviously speaking to people who genuinely have trouble forgetting or letting go of the past. Then you give us a quote at the end, from scripture, basically telling those of us with this problem that we’re not fit for the kingdom of God. No help at all.

  6. Jennette says:

    Im guilty of this always looking back and wishing i did not do this or that or could have done this or that. Thank you Lord 🙏 for this

  7. Eric says:

    What does one do when they are in bondage to what they thought the Lord wanted them to do with their lives but none of it has materialized in the real world as of yet (50+ months later)? The bondage I’m in is fear of moving ahead of the Lord to escape the pain I’m in. That said, there is nothing concrete in the real world that would support the fact God has been in ANY of this…it’s been a walk of blind faith and obedience, with no fruit. That said, God has blessed just about EVERY other area of my life…He has just left me hanging in this one. The thing is, this one affects every aspect of my life/existence.

    I’ve been in bondage for 50+ months to what I believed was to become God’s calling on my life…but the only fruit I see is bad fruit. The thing is, I don’t know that I can break this cycle. I’m afraid of walking away from God’s will (IF He was ever in it) and it has gone on so long it has damaged my psyche. I feel like it may be a condition similar to Stockholm syndrome…but I’m so confused at this point, I don’t know which way is up and which way is down. My faith has suffered SEVERELY and I find myself moving away from the Lord b/c I’m having a very hard time trusting His Word any longer (coming from a once strong Believer; 35 years). I am sincerely concerned that this is going to drive me insane, if it hasn’t already.

    Any thoughts???

    • Linda. says:

      I suggest you go to your doctor & ask for a referral to see a councillor, I find that when you are ‘inside the box’ all your thoughts are coming at you from all directions & you feel crowded in, can’t find space in your mind to think clearly, & yes, feel like you are going insane, you are not, talking this through with someone ‘outside the box’ who can work on your thoughts one at a time, will help to unravel them & ease all the stress, God has a plan for all of us, but I don’t think the one you’ve been following the past 50+ months is his, you wouldn’t feel this bad if it is, let it go by getting the help I suggest, God will never give up on you, who do you think made you reach out for help here, so please don’t give up on Him, He loves you so much, I will pray that you get the help you need & find peace of mind Eric.

    • Mmle says:

      It sounds like you had lost faith long before your journey.. when I am caught in that terrifying am I insane cycle I got back to basics.. the elephant theory.. when you stand to close to an elephant you can’t see the whole animal.. stop & step back take a breather. Know that you don’t have to be perfect Jesus carried that burden.. remember it’s all in God’s time not ours. I waited years for a real family .. to be able to marry and have a child all the whole doubting God not realizing that I was a believer living outside of Gods house.. not outside his love but I wasn’t living righteously. ( I still make lots of mistakes) when I lost faith I prayed for faith .. lastly let your prayers be specific in detail!! I started to pray for a husband to marry that would love God with me, for a home of my own that no one could take from me..(I’d struggled since 15 when I ran away from an abyss I’ve home) prior to this I prayed for someone to live me and I begged to not be left alone anymore .. ( I meant a human but God knew I needed a dog first) my point our prayers get answered we might just not notice because it wasn’t what we thought we needed or we weren’t specific enough and God chooses for us. And sometimes like in the case of anting a child he said no for a long time and it was hard on my husband and I.. but keep faith. .. ask God where he is when you are feeling doubt or your darkest memory or moment .. tell him you want to hear nothing but his voice .. he will answer you

  8. Nancy Marrodan says:

    Thank you God for speaking to me thru this beautiful message today….This morning I was surely thinking about this issue…remembering my past! I immediately reminded the enemy that I have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, that there is no more condemnation for me! I stopped on my tracks because I realized that it was the enemy trying to take my joy, and my peace away. My husband and I barely came back from A wonderful cruise , we had been separated for 8 months, the Lord healed our marriage, I know that is going to take one day at a time, We are not perfect, thank God for His mercy and Love.
    Again I thank you for your teaching today.



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