At church this morning the lesson spoke about the people of Israel as they came into the Promised Land and conquested Jericho, one of the things that had to happen before they could accomplish that was few there to be a change leadership. Joshua came into his role as leader after Moses died. Everything that the people of God knew and trusted about God was changed. They had to get a new perspective that allowed them to see the future and not the past any longer. There became a distinct change in their perspective and obedience. While wandering in the wilderness for 40 years they were plagued by their lack of trust, grumbling and dissatisfaction with God. After Joshua became the leader, the people began to trust differently and took on the mentality of “lead us where you want us to go and we will follow.” I began to contemplate my life and the ways that I view my past. I realize that often I hold on to the past and attempt to make the future more like the past. I live in the past, I live full of regret because things are not the way they used to be in my life and in my feeble attempts at ministry. Why should life be anything like it was last year? Am I the same person I was last year? Am I in the same place I was last year? What makes me think that what happened to me last year and the ways I served last year will hold the same amount of relevance to me today? As I struggle through this I become convicted that I am just trying to relive what were ‘glory days’ of ministry for me. What happens when you only see the past is that you are blind to the future. And when you can’t see the future you are almost unusable to God. God’s kingdom isn’t one of the past but of the present and the future.
When am I going to stop living in the past and let God use me now and on the future?
When will I allow God to create new and better ‘glory days’?
Just like Israel came into something better than just merely being liberated from the slavery of Egypt, God is waiting to bring me into better victory and triumph to use me for ministry and to further his kingdom now and in the future. Past ‘glory days’ are irrelevant… Paul said that he counted all of his past, his victories and defeats, as loss compared to preaching Christ.
Whose glory am I after, mine or God’s?