Tuesday, September 9, 2008
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The plane bound for Newark Airport was full. Now all those passengers are waiting for their suitcase to arrive on the baggage carousel along with passengers from a couple of other flights. And to think people pay to go to the zoo! There are times when that crowd of people gets pretty big and we're all crammed together in an area that can get pretty wall-to-wall. Recently the claustrophobia got worse than ever, they have put up a wall that reduces the already limited space. You could get pretty steamed about it if you didn't realize that wall was there to cover up some construction that's in progress. See, they are improving and enlarging that whole area! Now how do they make us feel good about this crunch in the meantime? They put up a sign on that construction wall and it seemed to do the job. I didn't forget it and it said this, "Thanks for your patience. We are getting rid of yesterday so we can get ready for tomorrow."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beyond Yesterday."
That's God's construction strategy, too, for improving and enlarging your life. Our word for today from the Word of God, Philippians 3:13-14. Paul says, "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." Or, I am getting rid of yesterday so I can get ready for tomorrow.
Well, are you hanging on to yesterday. Those construction people at the airport have to make a choice. Shall we hang onto what's been in the past or leave that behind and build something for the future? You can't have both. They can't have the future if they keep hanging onto the past, and neither can you.
It may be that you are writing the verse this way, "Dwelling on what is behind," "remembering what is behind." You won't let go of the past: the hurts, the slights, the pain, the problems, the miss understandings, the grudge, and the resentments. You keep reliving and replaying them and consequently you have pretty much identified your place in life, I'm a victim. And you may very well have been a victim. But you will be tomorrow a victim, only if you insist on carrying your yesterday into your tomorrow.
You've got Jesus now. Your identity is "child of God," not victim. Your tomorrows need to be focused on pursuing what Jesus can make you, not what your past has made you. Maybe the yesterdays you won't forget are your failures. You've got to leave them behind, too.
You cannot change the past, and the Devil would love to have you focused on what can't be changed. Then you're a slave for life. Jesus wants you to focus on what can be changed, the future. That has yet to be written. You can determine right now, no matter what the past has been that the rest of your days will be the best of your days and that your past will not infect your future. You draw a line today.
The choice is clear, just like that construction company; you have to choose between yesterday or tomorrow. Dwelling on your yesterdays will cost you what your tomorrows could have been. Releasing your yesterdays, deliberately moving past them, makes room for what God wants to build in your future. Jesus is in the construction business with you, getting rid of yesterday so He can get ready for tomorrow.