DayBreaks for 11/11/12 – No Rear View Mirrors

DayBreaks for 11/11/12 – No Rear View Mirrors

Philippians 3:13-14 – “13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

It is easier said than done to forget what is past, isn’t it?  Some people – Christians are who I’m talking about – really struggle to be freed from their past.  Perhaps they feel that they failed in raising their children, they may have failed in their business, they may have failed in their devotion to Christ.  I don’t imagine that Peter found it easy to forget about his triple denial of Christ.  And now in Philippians, we see Paul was somehow able to put behind him his own past – the past where he persecuted the church of Jesus, where he imprisoned men and women, broke up families, and even put to death one of the first deacons of the church, Stephen.  That’s quite a bit to put behind you.  But that’s exactly what Paul says he’d managed to do.

I like what Warren Wiersbe had to say (I’m going to paraphrase him): You can’t move ahead by constantly looking in the rear view mirror.  The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you down.

I like that.  Think about it: if you are driving your car and you spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror, what will happen?  You’ll not go very far forward before you get into a serious wreck.  Why?  Because you’re focusing on what is behind you instead of looking forward to where your attention should be focused.  It works that way in life, too.

Getting us to focus on our past to the point that we become discouraged and want to give up is one of Satan’s most successful and persistent strategies.  I like what someone else said: “Satan reminded me of my past.  I reminded him of his future!

Wow!  That’s rich.  Don’t let Satan pull your vision away from Christ who LEADS us.  Follow him and his leading – not Satan’s taunting.

PRAYER: Jesus, we want to hear Your calling today, not the taunts of our enemy, Satan.  Tune our ears to hear Your voice!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 5/11/11 – Walking Straight

DayBreaks for 05/11/11 – Walking Straight

He leads in straight paths...

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. – Proverbs 4:11-12

Have you ever intentionally set out to walk in a straight line?  For some reason, human beings struggle to do it.  There’s just something about our orientation that causes us to walk in a crooked or warped way. That’s the conclusion of Robert Krulwich, a science correspondent for NPR. In an interview on Morning Edition, Krulwich noted a study done by one Souman, a scientist from Germany, who blindfolded his subjects and then asked them to walk for an hour in a straight line. Without exception, people couldn’t do it. Of course everybody thinks they’re walking in a straight line, until they remove the blindfolds and sees their crooked path.  I don’t know why it is, but we can’t do it.  Perhaps it’s because something is wrong with our sense of balance, or because one side of our body is slightly stronger than the other and we push off harder with that foot, causing us to go slightly crooked with each step.

Krulwich observed, “This tendency has been studied now for at least a century. We animated field tests from the 1920s, so you can literally see what happens to men who are blindfolded and told to walk across a field in a straight line, or swim across a lake in a straight line …, and they couldn’t. In the animation, you see them going in these strange loop-de-loops in either direction. Apparently, there’s a profound inability in humans to [walk] straight.”

This has obvious parallels to our spiritual ability to walk in a straight line, too.  But here’s the really interesting part: according to the research, the only one way we can walk in a straight line is not by focusing on our feet, but by focusing on something ahead of us – a building, landmark, or mountain. As long as we can keep our eyes on something ahead of us, we can make ourselves avoid our normal crooked course.  Kurlwich conclusion is simply that, “Without external cues, there’s apparently something in us that makes us turn [from a straight path].” – Steve Inskeep, “Mystery: Why We Can’t Walk Straight?” NPR: Morning Edition (11-22-10)

We don’t have that great of vision to allow us to see where our footsteps, as crooked as they are, will lead us.  Whenever we trust in our own vision to arrive at a destination (holiness, goodness, righteousness, etc.), we will go wrong.  That’s why God said in our verse today that “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.”  Only God has that kind of vision to see the goal.  We must let Him guide and lead us.  Left to our own, we’ll only walk in circles!

PRAYER: Lead us in straight paths, O Lord, and guide us in the way that is everlasting!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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