Stepping Forward

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
Psalm 37:23

It is often that we find ourselves doing things that we never thought we would do. I can recount many moments when I found myself in places that I never thought I would be, doing things I never imagined I would ever do. Those moments of ill-mindedness that, but for the grace of God, would have been my peril.

It is easy, of course, to allow weak moments to stymie our growth and render us empty. One of the great sources of criticism in our own lives can often be our own thinking and analysis. While we should not have a higher estimation of ourselves than we ought, in the same way, we should avoid thinking ourselves into oblivion by obsessing over things that do not add value to us and can be destructive.

We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
2 Corinthians 10:5

How is it then, that we may come to live a balanced life? What will it take to bring about the kind of thinking that will propel us forward and not leave us lingering in a perpetual ditch of murky water or sinking into quicksand? We indeed must remain continually focus on Christ in our lives and not succumb to the desires of the flesh or our own dispositions.  

Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Colossae:
"Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:1-3

To keep moving forward we must be looking forward and taking steps. There will no doubt be dilemmas and struggles that come up throughout life. Overcoming the quandaries of the mind is not especially easy at the onset, but the more we take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and fix our eyes on Christ, the more natural it will become to walk victoriously through Christ. Keep focused on Christ, the things that are above and not the stuff that is temporary here on earth. We have a rich hope in Christ, and He is our living hope as the scriptures remind us (1 Peter 1:3).

Not only do we walk in a new way because of what Christ did for us, but we must also recount that when we decided to follow Christ, we became dead to our old life and now our life is hidden in Christ. Though we face difficulties of various kinds we have reason for hope and courage because we have been raised to life in Christ. We cannot sulk in the shame of our sin, though we must be repentant; we walk with abandon to those things that once gripped us so that we don’t become captives to sin again.

So, does this mean we should just move on and never reflect on the past? No. Moving forward does not mean that we never reflect, in fact, reflection helps us measure how far God has brought us! The Children of Israel were instructed to setup memorials and to celebrate feasts of remembrance to reminisce what God had done for them and to remind them to remain in His ways. It is negative self-reflection that stifles us, it negates the grace that God has shown us and causes us to remain in the prison cell, all the while, Christ has unlocked the door to set us free. We must always remember to: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB). Let us always keep moving forward, taking new ground! “Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary” (Galatians 6:9 NASB).