The Don’t Look Back Plan

Looking back feeds the desires of the flesh

A Longing for supplies

As we go further into the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness we can see how much their heart was rooted in the bondage of Egypt. It is amazing to me how much food plays a huge part of any culture. In New York, one of the highlights of the city is the many restaurants and the diversity of culinary cuisines. Food can comfort us on a cold night, it is the highlight of every party and what has always puzzled me is the idea of going to the theater to see your favorite movie yet that experience is never complete without something to munch on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that food seems to infiltrate most aspects of our lives and Jesus was very aware of the tendency to lean on food as a substitute for God. In one of the recorded temptations of Jesus in his wilderness experience, the devil challenged him to turn stone into bread and Jesus response was, “It is written: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

I know you might be wondering what food has to do with looking back. Well, let us take a look at what happened to the children of Israel. After they left Egypt they crossed the red sea and started their journey in the wilderness, God was with them through it all. God was their shade and cool in the day time in the form of a cloud and He was their warmth and protector by night in a pillar of fire. God moved with them and He became their source, but their flesh was so attached to Egypt for the supplies they had in abundance that they could not see the many provisions in the present by the very hand of God. This looking back mentality caused them to grumble and complain rather than be thankful. It is a dangerous thing to live in the past, longing for what was and making light of what is. Many good relationships come to an end when a partner cannot let go of the past. While this reference is about the food there is other material stuff and connivances we can keep looking back for.

Perhaps you were in an abusive relationship but your partner would over compensate in material supplies in order to keep you in bondage and now that you are out of the abuse your heart still longs for the stuff. Perhaps you find yourself complaining about the provisions you have now even though the situation is a far safer one for you. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord as He leads you through the process of detoxing your soul of the past. The bible tells us that the past was so deeply rooted in the Israelites that they lusted for the supplies of Egypt. (Numbers 11:4 – 6 Amplified). I believe God wants to set you free from the bondage of the past. Won’t you take his help today?

Holy Spirit, help me to let go of the lust of fleshly things in my past and help me to have an attitude of gratitude for all that you provide me daily.

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:  And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Exodus 16:2‭-‬3 KJV

And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

Exodus 17:3 KJV

And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:  But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Numbers 11:4‭-‬6 KJV

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13‭-‬14 KJV
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4 KJV

Mother Of The Year Devotional

A Disinterested Cook

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not fond of cooking. But as the mother of three sons, it was irrelevant whether or not I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. It was my responsibility to be certain those boys had three square meals a day. I wasn’t concerned about presentation; it was all about quantity—especially when they reached their teen years.

After they were out of the house and well on their way to adulthood, my middle son heard me refer to myself as a bad cook. Perhaps out of gentleness and compassion he corrected me. “Mom, you’re not a bad cook. You’re a disinterested cook.”

I considered that title an upgrade and appreciated his kindness.

Think About It:

Have you been a little too rough on yourself? It might be time for an upgrade. How about your kids? Is there a label someone has attached to them that should be changed? Take action today.

Scripture Reference:

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12 KJV

The Don’t Look Back Plan

Looking back feeds the desires of the flesh

A False sense of security

When we look back and constantly live in the past it seems to offer us a sense of safety even if the situation we were in was a dangerous one physically, emotionally or mentally. I believe this is so because as humans, change and newness always bring with it a sense of challenge, stretching and definitely the unknown. But in the past we find comfort because we know all that we were dealing with, it was familiar even though it was not easy. Sounds strange, I know but I have seen time and time again in ministry where people will choose to go back to abusive homes, manipulative relationships and immoral lifestyles just because it’s familiar and provides a false sense of security.

I grew up in an abusive home and it seemed easier to deal with the abuse than to open up to someone in authority for help; again it was the unknown of the future that kept me bound to that situation. Today I write about moving from the past and looking forward because the life that God has for His children is always better than what we will leave behind. The children of Israel were no different from us today, Even though they were slaves in Egypt and cried out to God for freedom and help they never seemed to let go of the past and the bondage that felt familiar to them. Their lives were plagued with beatings and hard labor from their taskmasters. The Hebrew men were belittled and disrespected in front of their wives and children and they cried out to God. We are told in scriptures that God heard their cries and remembered His covenant with their forefathers and sent a deliverer, Moses to bring them out of Egypt.

I find comfort and encouragement from this story of the Exodus while it may have ended tragically for many it serves as wisdom to us who study their lives to learn from their mistakes. Many times we cry out to God to save us from our situations but truthfully we want the saving on our terms and not His which breeds disappointments and that causes us to look back. If only we could come to place in our lives where we believe God’s plan is better than ours. The Israelites wanted to come out of bondage but they did not trust God in the process and as a result, they longed to go back to Egypt for the false sense of security Egypt provided for them. They did not see the wilderness as temporary or that God was with them in the coming out and all they could think about was what they had in bondage.

Holy Spirit, help me today to let go of the familiar and the false sense of security of the past. Please help me to trust you with this process.Scripture References:

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi–hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal–zephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.  For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord . And they did so.

Exodus 14:1‭-‬4 KJV

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord .  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

Exodus 14:10‭-‬11 KJV

Mother Of The Year Devotional

Listen and Learn

Mom, it’s important for you to be available for your older child but to refrain from being an interruption in his life. That may sound a little confusing. What does it mean to be available without interrupting? Let me give you a practical example.

I’d encourage you to volunteer to drive a carload of kids to an event, either school or church related. If you are quiet and don’t interrupt as you drive, you’ll discover a vast amount of information. What are these kids interested in? Are they boy crazy, girl crazy, or sports crazy? Do they have an interest in spiritual things? Are they respectful or teasing as they talk to one another?

If you chauffer the kids and don’t interrupt, before long you’ll become invisible—and from that invisible state you can be a student of your own child and his peers. You’re offering a service to the kids, not companionship; and by listening, you will learn a great deal that can be of help to you as a mom.

It’s True:

Too often moms miss an opportunity to learn more about their child because they don’t want to take the time or choose to interrupt rather than listen.

Scripture Reference:

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Proverbs 1:5 KJV

Mother Of The Year Devotional

Peter Sank

The family sat gathered around the kitchen table as mom read the devotional message for the day. It was the story of Peter walking on the water.

After mom finished reading and after they prayed together, one of the kids surprised his mom with these words. “Hey guys,” he said, addressing everyone in the family. “I know why Peter sank.”

His mother had a doubtful look in her eye but gestured for him to continue. “It’s simple,” he said. “Peter quit lookin’ at Jesus.”

Yes, that is what happened. Peter took his eyes off of the Lord and instead focused on the wind and the waves. That’s when he started going under.

On that day Mom did not teach the lesson. One of her children was the teacher.

Think About It:

That simple explanation is true, not only for Peter but also for you. When you take your eyes off of Jesus and look at your situation, you may find yourself sinking. Keep your focus where it belongs—on the Lord.

Scripture Reference:

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Matthew 14:28‭-‬30 KJV

The Don’t Look Back Plan

Looking back is a heart condition

The scriptures teach us that as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). If we were to examine this closer we would be able to see that most of what we act out in life finds its origins in the thought life. Day after day whatever we ponder on, meditate on and dwell on becomes a reality sooner or later. Our thoughts are very powerful and will eventually determine the kind of future we will experience. Have you ever heard the saying, “Follow your heart?” Well, there is so much truth wrapped up in that saying and even the bible talks about our heart following our treasure. (Luke 12:34). Our heart was made to follow the ultimate treasure which is God himself but only Jesus could give us the heart to understand that, and without this understanding, we will end up chasing treasures of this world which are of lesser value.

Looking back and living in the past constantly is a clear indication that you believe your treasures are somehow still buried there. There is a woman in the bible that only went by the title of Lots wife and her heart was so caught up in the treasures of this world that she could not see the grand future God had planned out for her. I am sure many of you have heard of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of fire and brimstone that rained down and ruined them. Lot’s wife lived there with her family and though it was a place of much immorality and disgraces, her heart was very much tied to it. But because of the prayers of Abraham God was willing to save Lot and his family from the devastation. God allowed them enough time to escape with this instruction, “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain.” (Genesis 19:17).

When I think back on my life I am so thankful that God did bring me out of many situations that would have only resulted in my destruction had I stayed there. In the moment of having to leave behind people, possessions and relationship we hold close and dear to us may seem like the most difficult thing to do. But when you put your trust in the One who knows best the present pain will eventually turn into the greatest gain in life. Lot’s wife’s treasure was so buried in the city she had to leave behind that she was not willing to trust God with the future. The bible tells us that as she was leaving the city she “Looked back” and was turned into a pillar of salt. The truth about looking back constantly and living in the past is that it will drain the very life from you. Let us heed the warning of God and make sure our heart is following Him.
Scripture References:
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.  And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:  Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:  Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.  And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.  Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.  The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.  Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:15‭-‬26 KJV

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12:34 KJV