Go Back To Go Forward.
Trials, temptations, doubts arise in the midst of them, to lean to your own understanding, doubt God’s care for you and allow anxiety to stress your mind …what to do? GO BACK TO GO FORWARD! What does that mean practically for you if you are in the midst of trials?
“STONES OF REMEMBRANCE” – In the Old Testament, a father may be walking with his son when they would come upon a place where a pile of stones had been erected and the son may ask his dad what it meant? The dad would be reminded of what God did- He would Go Back – in his mind and recal and share what GOD had done in the past. He would go back and recount the great work of God and how they had erected the stones as “stones of remembrance” of what God had done! Joshua did this when God intervened and we read…
“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’”- Joshua 4:20-22
The twelve stones that Joshua set up were a visual reminder of what God did. God made a way for the people when they was no way, when they could “see” no way. God did t and the stones were erected that forever a visual reminder of the testimony of what God di may be passed down through the generations. God provides. God can. God did. God is faithful!. God opened the Jordan and the people walked across on DRY LAND!!! They had a supernatural experience of God as their stone of remembrance as they walked across the dry land into the Promised land. What God promises God delivers on, irrespective of the obstacles we see. We must “see” God is greater. God is able. God is faithful/ Go back in order to Go Forward and remember GOD!!
So we learn from the “stones of remembrance” how we should ask the Holy Spirit to help us remember and see things God has done for us in our past. We feed our minds on His past FAITHFULNESS. Perhaps get a piece of paper and write down line upon line of His faithfulness to you. Go back in order to go forward.
You can go Forward in faith because you have gone back and remembered the faithfulness of God to you
DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU!
GO BACK TO GO FORWARD.
A godly old man writes Psalm 71. He had difficulties without and within. We learn from this man who had lived a long time that – he went back… he recalls God’s faithfulness to him while in his mothers womb…
“O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.
6 By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You.”- Psalm 71:5-6
“O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.”- v 17
He goes back….to God’s faithfulness to him when he was a youth and now that he is old he draws from his memory bank the faithfulness of God… and we see his passion, his prayer, in light of God’s faithfulness it propels his faith and his desire is seen in v 18
“Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” – v18
In the midst of difficulties and hardships we can LEARN from this older man, that praise and pain are not exclusive to the absence of one or the other. They can coincide, and often do! But the CHOICE is for us to GO BACK to GO FORWARD – in PRAISE! The Godly old man of Psalm 71 teaches us this!
OLDER MAN ‘S TESTIMONY.
I was at a men’s conference and had asked an older brother in his 70’s to share his testimony. He did,. Late we were having a chat and he asked how he had done. I told him he was “a Psalm 71:18 man”- He had proclaimed the faithfulness of God to him and through him to a generation of younger men! In his old age, God had given him the opportunity to speak for Him and testify.
THE LIFE OF FAITH- DOES NOT EXCLUDE PAIN
“Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
You have done such wonderful things.
Who can compare with you, O God?
20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
but you will restore me to life again
and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
21 You will restore me to even greater honor
and comfort me once again.”- Psalm 71:19-21
Too often we have adopted the western view of Christianity that if you suffer hardship, God is not pleased with you. There is something wrong with your faith. But we see the Scriptures testify of men and women who suffered and in whom God stamped His seal of approval. Hebrews 11:38-39, testifies “… the world was not worthy of them…And all of these GAINED APPROVAL through their Faith.” Faith pleases God. Hebrews 11:6
Peter wrote to people who were going through horrific trials, these words,
“So be truly glad There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”- 1 Peter 1:6-9
THE CHOICE TO BE MADE
To continue to THINK and give all your mental attention and emotions to doubts, not only SAPS THE ENERGY out of you but it EXCLUDES RIGHT THINKING ABOUT GOD! It is a willful refusal to THINK on God. His promises. His past goodness to you. His faithfulness to you. It is to choose to live in despair, doubts as though God does not exist and if He does He does not care. He is indifferent to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cross testifies of His Love for you.- Romans 5:8-9.
You CHOOSE what or whom to THINK about! One will lead to despair and SAP you emotionally, the other will edify you and faith comes by hearing of the Word of God. GO BACK TO GO FORWARD!– Go to His Word. Look for Him-Luke 24:27. Go Back to your past and REMEMBER what God has done for you. Praise Him. Trust Him. Rest in Him. Boast of His fame to others! Tell others of His faithfulness to you from the womb into your youth. He has always cared and has saved you, rescued you to Himself!
In the later years ministry of Hudson Taylor, who was a missionary in China, his message was “HOLD THAT GOD IS FAITHFUL.”- This is a great truth he had learned through musch pain, sorrow and suffering. He ends his later years not in bitterness but seeking to encourage God’s people that GOD IS FAITHFUL GOD CAN BE TRUSTED! He went BACK to GO FORWARD…. and he was passing on truth that he had experienced of God!
Some times we go back and dwell on our failures and get stuck and seem to dig in. We need only go back to recount His faithfulness!
GO BACK TO GO FORWARD.
Go back and recall God’s faithfulness to fuel your faith that you may go forward in faith, that He who has been faithful in your past is the same and will be the same in your future.
We Go Back To Go Forward -In PRAISE.
We Go Back To Go Forward – In FAITH.
We Go Back To Go Forward – To TELL OTHERS OF GOD!
Today think on this- “Go Back In order To Go Forward”
1. – Compose your thoughts… write them down…put one or two on a 3 by 5 card and put ins prominent position, like your bathroom mirror and be REMINDED of GOD’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE- HIS PAST FAITHFULNESS… HE IS FOREVER THE SAME- FAITHFUL….Go Back To Go Forward in faith!
2. – Pray and ask God to continually remind you that you may praise Him, trust Him and go forward in faith
3. SHARE with someone of what God has done for you. SHARE with someone – Go Back To Go Forward. Share of “the stones of remembrances” in Joshua. Share about the Godly old man in Psalm 71, Encourage the down hearted, the doubting today…
We Go Back To Go Forward -In PRAISE.
We Go Back To Go Forward – In FAITH
WE GO Back To Go Forward – To TELL OTHERS OF GOD!