Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

No Looking Back

by Erik Momsen

As 2012 comes to an end we are tempted to either dwell in the past or to make elaborate plans for the future.  Being stuck in the past or driven by a illusionary future is not of God.  This said I believe the greatest danger for most is allowing the past to determine our future.  Nearly all will have failures and hurts but this is not where God is.  The God of the Bible is in the future.

Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

This is a simple but vitally true parable.  Most of us have never plowed but they tell me that plowing is about fixing a mark in the distance and driving hard towards it.  There may be obstacles in the way but the target remains in focus.  The plowman does not look back but only at the marker at the end of the field and the previous furrow just plowed.  The furrow behind him is not going to help him in his task.

The stories of great men and woman is full of knock-downs but of more getting-ups.  The Kingdom language of not looking back, letting the dead bury the dead, not going back to greet your father is seen in Elisha's call.

“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant."
(1 Kings 19:19-21)

 -  Elijah and Elisha were radical people.
 -  Elisha is from a very wealthy family – 12 teams of oxen plowing.
 -  Elijah calls Elisha as a prophet (Cloak placing) and then even seems to discourage him.
 -  He slaughters his oxen and feeds his companions – burning bridges???
 -  Kingdom principle of making a radical break with the past is established.

PAUL IS ALSO NOT LOOKING BACK

“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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)

Paul is talking about leaving his Jewishness behind.  The values and achievements that seemed so important.  He is no longer focused on past traditions but on what is ahead.  He was called “heavenward” by and in Christ and lives for getting this message out.

PLOWMEN PLOW FOR REWARD

“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?  Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes?  Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? … Doesn’t the Law say the same thing?  For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”  Is it about oxen that God is concerned?  Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he?  Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.  If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? (1 Corinthians 9:7-12)

There is a connection between sowing to the Kingdom and getting a reward on earth.  For so many years have I seen people who start plowing for the Kingdom and after a season the rewards start coming in.  Note that it takes time between plowing and reaping and baking bread!

MY FUTURE
I WILL NOT BE DETERMINED BY MY PAST
FORGIVENESS IS LEAVING THE PAST
GOD IS A GOD OF NEW BEGINNINGS
GOD WORKS IN SEASONS
THERE IS NO GOING BACK IN OUR FAITH

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7:9)

The Kingdom is not about breaking with sin but having a new mighty vision of the future so that the past of sin, brokenness and pain is left behind in faith and newness.  It is His Love, presence, power, vision that lifts us to BELIEVE the FUTURE IS new.

Date Added: 2013-01-03

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