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It is important for us to celebrate our victories in Jesus. They remind us and give us hope that the same God that answered our prayers yesterday can do so today. But do not limit God's power by dwelling on them.
As I was running one day, I felt tired and turned to take a peek back. As I looked over my shoulder I tripped and stumbled over a small root in front of me. "Stay focused," I thought to myself. In our walk with God we often look back, on both our past failures as well as on our victories.
It is important to remember the past, but we cannot dwell on our mistakes with "morbid introspection". On the other hand, some of us go to the other extreme in pretending as if we have never done any wrong and have always been "holy and sanctified". There is a healthy way to recall and reflect and be an effective witness without dwelling on the past. Have you ever noticed that when you start focusing on past sin and failure, somehow it seems to creep back into your life? Sometimes when I awoke at 4:45 am for the Saturday runs, I considered what I "used to be doing" at that time. I could be sleeping in on Saturday. Then I thought, maybe I should go back to that. Forget this commitment. Is the training even worth it? Am I crazy? Do we ever become so frustrated on this journey that we begin thinking about the things we used to do, as if that alternative were better?
And then there are the victories. It is important for us to
celebrate our victories in Jesus. They remind us and give us hope that the same
God that answered our prayers yesterday can do so today. But do not limit God's
power by dwelling on them.
Isaiah 43:16-21 records what God had brought the Israelites through, but He
also reminded them not to dwell on those past victories. He was about to do a
new thing. Once I had run 12 miles, I thought that was a huge milestone. But two
weeks later, I had to run 14 miles, and ultimately I ran 26! I couldn't stay in
the "12 miles mentality" forever. I celebrated that achievement but quickly
moved on to believing that with God I could do even more. We must be willing for
God to stretch us.
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