Devotional

“Relying on God has to start all over everyday, as if nothing has yet been done.”  – C. S. Lewis.

The future can sometimes seem a long way off. Even so, we are always preparing for the future even if we do not think or dwell on the future. We are always preparing for the future even if our mind is focused on the past or the present. This is because our life builds upon itself. What you experience today is based upon what you accomplished or did not accomplish yesterday. And what you will experience tomorrow will be partially built on what you can accomplish today. So how do we prepare for the future today? The first step is to give God your future.

We read these words in Philippians 3:13-14: “ …I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Paul was clearly looking ahead rather than dwelling on the past. But that doesn’t mean that Paul has suddenly developed amnesia in the Roman jail. He clearly understood his past and had not forgotten the man he once was, but he was determined to press on and to keep running the race. Paul was focused on eternity and what awaited him at the end of his life.

Today, we are accustomed to viewing our lives from the past, to the present to the future. The Bible, however, suggests that time flows from the future into the present and then into the past. The believer should be future-oriented, “forgetting the past.”

It is hard to think five-years out, when we are mired down in the here and now or in the past. Sometimes we are singularly focused on all the noise and potholes in our lives. Things like broken relationships, money problems, illnesses, and so on. None of those things will matter in eternity. What matters is the end of the race. If we keeps our “eyes on the prize” we will stay on track. Similarly, the runner who makes it to the half-way marker and stops there, saying “I made it!” will usually not finish the race.

You may have started the race a few days or a few weeks ago. Or maybe you started the race a long time ago, but somewhere along the way you stopped running. Perhaps you stumbled and fell, or maybe you just got tired and decided to take a break. If you’re temporarily sitting on the sidelines, I encourage you to get back in the race. There’s a Savior to serve and a prize of an eternity with Him to be won.

Discussion questions:
How well are you running the race? 

How can we start thinking future, present, past rather than the current order of past, present and future?

Pray and ask God for wisdom to help you on what you can do to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus?