Picture the Grand Canyon, or the Rocky Mountains, or the San Fransisco Bay. Picture how vast, how difficult to navigate they were 2 centuries ago, let alone 2 decades, or even 2 days. Imagine stumbling across these giant, God-made masses, totally unaware they existed before you saw them.
Do you think you’d want to cross them backwards?
There’s no way a pioneer could’ve traipsed the Rockies or the Redwood Forests looking behind them. There’s no way they could’ve picked the best land to start their new life by focusing on the trail of dust they left in their wake. So why, when God calls us to go somewhere new spiritually, creatively, or literally, should you spend that time moving forward looking back?
You’ve probably already encountered someone who does just that. They spend time talking or tweeting about their “Best Day Ever”, or produce projects that revolve around their past struggles with (insert rejection, addiction, etc. here). While it’s honoring to recognize God’s faithfulness from time to time, and while there’s beauty in getting honest about where your heart’s been, making what you’ve left behind the focal point of all creation or conversation diminishes the importance of the new things that God has for you. The person who’s comfortable living in the past is, in fact, the opposite of a pioneer.
Our moms and dads of faith understood that God was making a way for them in the wilderness. They didn’t dwell on past glories, or despair over past hurts. They kept pressing forward, and they didn’t bother with what they had left behind. Like we read yesterday, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him—not looking over our shoulder while we take slow, halfhearted steps forward. Not worrying whether what God’s called us to do looks like what x church did or what y leader says. God relishes in our fearless pursuit of His plans, and our willingness to let the past be the past.
Now is the perfect time to practice keeping our gaze forward. Spend some time prayerfully considering what your thought life revolves around. Are you constantly referencing a past hurt or relying on past successes to give you cues? Where can you adjust your gaze so that your focal point is Jesus? As a pioneer, you become unstoppable when you start looking forward.