Looking back…

I’ve posted some about this before, but based on some of the conversations I’ve had with friends over the past two weeks, I thought it was worth re-stating.

Life is great sometimes, life is really hard sometimes. We all have a tendency to want to focus on my past too much. If there were something I wish I could do differently about my experience at UC, it would be to not try to drive forward looking the rearview mirror. My past experiences at FC were really good at moments and really bad at others, and I brought all of it with me. One of my very first emails to Pastor Joe was entitled: Danger, Baggage Attached. Unfortunately, I stayed true to that throughout my time on staff. Did it inhibit the church? I’m sure at moments it did, but more than anything – it inhibited me on a completely personal level from being what I could be. My convictions are almost completely the same today as they were two years ago, but keeping those convictions doesn’t require you to pull all of the baggage with it.

I was probably most guilty of talking with our praise team about what we had experienced in the past. I don’t think it turned one of them off – they always wanted the experiences I described, but I was so focused on those experiences and re-creating them, that I wasn’t looking for that day’s annointing – that day’s favor.

There’s much we can learn from our pasts – but living in the past is not the way to learn it. If you’re living in your past, you still haven’t learned the lessons you needed to.

What is it to live in your past?
Quit talking about it! Life goes on. Of course we need to share, of course we need to listen, but you know you’ve hit that line between living in the past and moving towards the future. Don’t think about it all the time! We must meditate on the Word, not on our emotions, we must listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, not reminisce about the good days and bad days. Every one of us has to make a daily decision to move on with our lives – focus on what’s ahead. Life is too short to focus on the past.

At one point in time, our home church (FC) was radically impacting the community – overtime, it slowed down tremendously (of course there was awesome stuff even when it slowed down – deaf ears opened – cancer healed – 100s save), but we became so focused on our former glory, that we weren’t looking for the latter rain. Today, FC is pushing toward the future, defining who God has called them to be.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through – are you living in what happened – constantly comparing, criticizing, whining and complaining, or are your eyes fixed towards the future?

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgettingwhat is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

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One thought on “Looking back…

  1. drama girl

    Forgetting what is behind and STRAINING toward that which is ahead. Amen
    Well stated Matthew, you are wise beyond your years. Blessings to you and Chelsea

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