Go On With God
I was cleaning up a bit of our Christmas decorations and started thinking about how much we look forward to Christmas. We look forward to the excitement of the day and the memories we will get to create. When Christmas is over we look forward to New Year’s for the same reasons. Maybe we have a vacation coming up that we look forward to next. There is always something as human beings, even since childhood, that we are “looking forward to.” It is good to look forward. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Let us run the race set in front of us, looking forward! We need to be future minded. Jesus was future minded and only because of that could he actually accomplish what God had purposed Him to do. Too often Christians are living like the rest of the world just trying to get their kicks, just trying to seize the moment, which really is all about tickling their flesh. Recently, my husband gave someone in our congregation some great advice. He said, “you need to always follow a thought through and see where it leads you.” What he means by that is that when a thought comes or a temptation to act opposite of God, we need to think about what acting on that thought will result in down the line. If the temptation comes to leave my church because something the pastor said, imagine where that will lead you in the grand scheme of things. Will leaving the place God has for you be easier than swallowing the pride that has you in offense? After all, it’s being planted in the place you’re called that will flourish you. Psalms 92:13, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, Shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
What about the temptation to sin, to enter into premarital relationships living impure, or to party like the world parties, getting a little tipsy? Where will acting on that lead you in the end? There was a teenager once used mightily of God, walking in His plan, serving in His church, but the temptation to sin with another teenager came and instead of following that thought through to where it might actually end up after the pleasure was over, this teenager chose to sin. The result? Being removed from the post God had and having to prove faithfulness all over again. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Looking forward will keep us on the right track if we let it. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God wants to give us a future! He wants to give us a GOOD future. How do we keep our future mindset on the right things? We purpose to check our life against the Word of God and keep our minds and actions stayed on Him. Romans 8:5-7, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”
As we look forward to 2019, let us do so with purpose. Let us purpose to keep our minds and actions stayed on Him. If offense comes, ask, “where is this going to lead me in the end?” If the temptation to sin comes, ask, “what is the outcome of acting on this?” If the idea of quitting comes, ask, “what will giving up get me?” Follow those thoughts through, get the understanding that the devil is trying to steal, kill, and destroy, and go on with God.