How to Move On
Oliver Wendell Holmes said,
The great thing in this world is not so much, where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. —
I don’t know about you, but I am finding that in these unprecedented times, there are moments where I am not sure which direction to face?
The turbulent winds of change have blown in. It feels like everything is being rearranged.
There is an onslaught of fear, apprehension and confusion that is sweeping in and over our lives, families, businesses and communities.
It feels like it is pushing us towards destruction. Dark clouds of doubt, uncertainty and hopelessness are rolling in blocking out the light of tomorrow.
We have all had a major setback. Many have been setback in careers, jobs, finances and health.
How do we, the people of God, move on, face tomorrow. We sing the song, “Because He lives, we can face tomorrow”
But how do we live?
How do we move on from here?
How do we move on from fear?
How do we move on from No Job, a failed marriage, a broken relationship, a struggling or bankrupt business??
Phil 3:12-16 TPT
I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this;[a] however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires,[b] God will reveal it to them. And let us all advance together to reach this victory-prize, following one path with one passion.
When Paul says “forgetting”, what he means is - not recalling things from the past. It means to neglect or give little attention to. It can even mean to be careless about something.
We are to care less about the past and fix our attention to the future hope in Christ.
Where is your focus?
There's a story about a man who was slowly losing his memory. After an examination, the doctor said that an operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve might be severed, causing total blindness.
"What would you rather have," asked the surgeon, "your sight or your memory?"
The man pondered the question for a few moments and then replied,
"My sight, because I would rather see where I am going than remember where I have been.”
Today I want to encourage you from some of my meditations in Scripture. I have not arrived! I am a fellow struggler.
How do we move on from . . . . . . (Insert your struggle)
Paul said he had a “compelling focus”
Our gaze will determine this phase
The phase after a setback is crucial. Our gaze, our compelling focus in this phase will determine where we end up.
We have been looking at Genesis on a Wednesday at Grow, Finding Jesus on every page.
I want to use the historical account of a family that splits over a view, over what looked appealing versus what God was promising.
What they focussed on became their generational inheritance.
Gen 13:8-17 TPT
So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not quarrel with each other, or between our herdsmen, since we are relatives. Look at the vast land that is in front of you! Let’s settle in different regions. If you choose the land on the left, then I’ll go right, and if you want land on the right, then I’ll go left.”
Lot lifted his eyes and carefully surveyed the land around him all the way to Zoar. He noticed that the Jordan Valley was fertile and well-watered (this was before Yahweh had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). It looked beautiful, like the garden of Yahweh, or like Egypt. So Lot chose to settle in the Jordan Valley. He departed toward the east, and The family split up and separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan while Lot settled in the cities of the lowlands, at a place near Sodom. Now, the people of Sodom were extremely wicked and rebelled against Yahweh.
Careful what you are looking at!
After Lot separated from him, Yahweh spoke to Abram, “Lift up your eyes and look around you to the north, the south, the east, and the west. As far as you can see in every direction is the land that I will give to you forever—to you and your seed. I will multiply them until they are as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. If anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could also be counted. Now, get up and walk through the land— its length and its breadth. All the land you walk upon will be my gift to you!”
Lot lifted his eyes to insignificance - God lifted Abram’s eyes and gave Abraham 360 degree vision, a vision for generations to come.
Now in Chapter 14 you can read about a massive battle that took place in the region and Lot and his family are taken prisoners and Abraham goes and rescues them.
You would think that Lot would get the message, but still chooses to live in Sodom.
Then in Chapter 15-18 there is this amazing dealings with Abraham. God encounters and also a few blunders. (We will look at one of these later)
But when we get to Chapter 19, we read again what happens to Lot and his family because God is sick of the evil of Sodom and He destroys it but before He does that, because of Abraham, he sends two angels to get Lot and his family out warning them to not look back.
Gen 19:24-26 TPT
And Yahweh’s fire from heaven fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He completely destroyed the cities of the plain, and all their inhabitants and whatever grew in the valley. But Lot’s wife turned and gazed longingly on the city and turned into a pillar of salt.
Our gaze will determine this Phase
What you look at, will determine your future.
Lot’s wife looked longingly back and turned into our favourite popcorn seasoning. A preservative. It is like how she gazed, was preserved. Jesus even mentions her as a warning.
Lot ended in Zoar = Insignificance
Lets contrast that with Abraham
After God lifts his eyes and tells Abraham to walk the land. Abraham Moves On.
Gen 13:18 TPT
Abram moved his camp and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built another altar to Yahweh.
Mamre = Fatness
Hebron = Association
God’s blessing in covenantal, it pours down upon us because of association, relationship.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to him again and said, “I am the God who is more than enough. Live your life in my presence and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants.”
Then Abram fell on his face in awe before God, and God said to him, “I establish my covenant with you:
TPT Footnote says, “When man bows in the dust, God will speak in grace.”
Our Gaze will determine this Phase.
When we don’t have enough, the God of more than enough will speak in grace and supply more than enough.
I wonder as Abraham’s face was bowed low, in the dust of the earth, he remembered the promise of God to him, years before when his nephew had left, split the family, in that moment of loss, guilt and grief. God had promised him, to you and your seed. I will multiply them until they are as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth.
I love how the writer of Hebrews looks back at Abraham in Heb 11:8-10
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith. He lived by faith as an immigrant in his promised land as though it belonged to someone else. He journeyed through the land living in tents with Isaac and Jacob who were persuaded that they were also co-heirs of the same promise.
His eyes of faith were set on the city with unshakable foundations, whose architect and builder is God himself.
How to Move on like Abraham
Let Faith motivate you.
Obey God’s call
Leave the familiar to discover the new possibilities.
Live By faith because of the Promises of God
Follow the directions of God not the destinations of man.
If your spiritual gaze were frozen at this instant, on what would it be fixed? Every day is a choice to look forward toward life-giving grace or backward regret, guilt, success, failure etc. Will you choose self-focus or God-focus
When Spain led the world (in the 15th century), their coins reflected their national arrogance and were inscribed Ne Plus Ultra which meant "Nothing Further" - meaning that Spain was the ultimate in all the world. After the discovery of the New World, they realized that they were not the "end of the world" - they changed the inscription on their coinage to Plus Ultra - meaning "More Beyond."
Which motto better expresses your Christian life - "Nothing Further" or "More Beyond”?
The first step in Moving on is falling on your face in the dust and hearing God speak grace.
An encounter with the God of more than enough will to More Beyond.
The example of Christ is so compelling. Luke records Is 50:7 in his Gospel
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face (like flint) to go to Jerusalem.