Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new.
Abraham walked with God when he could not see the future; Sarah waited on God when she could not hear His voice. How were Abraham and Sarah able to exercise this kind of profound faith?
First, they released their grip on the present. Hebrews 11:13-14 says, “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.” Abraham and Sarah knew this world was not their home. They were just passing through, and their lives could easily be uprooted. They knew the best way to walk with God is to hold on to life loosely, to release their grip on their present circumstances, possessions, and plans. Paul said it this way in Philippians 3:20: “Our citizenship is in heaven.” Now, we do have responsibilities to our family, our work, and our government here on earth. But we are never to get so tied up with those responsibilities that we forget where our real citizenship is.
Every now and then, we get a reminder that helps us loosen our grip on the present. Have you ever had a doctor say, “There is something suspicious on that X-ray; we need to run some more tests”? When you are confronted with the possibility of your death, things that seemed urgent a few days earlier are now unimportant, and some things that seemed unimportant now seem urgent. In fact, one benefit of this terrible pandemic is that it has helped us to prioritize what is essential. That is key to walking or waiting in faith.
Not only did Abraham and Sarah release their grip on the present, but they also renounced their past. Look at Hebrews 11:15: “If they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.” As Abraham and Sarah made their way to Canaan, they faced some real struggles. It would have been tempting to long for the good old days in Ur, to think, “How I wish I could go back home!” That is a common temptation for anybody who is trying to walk in faith. But those who want to please God cannot afford the luxury of looking back.
Perhaps God has called you out of a certain city, a certain profession, or a certain lifestyle. Do not look back. Do not long for the good old days because, frankly, the good old days are not as good as we remember. God wants us to set our hearts on the future.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Going Without Knowing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org