The Apostle Paul even gives us the stark warning, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
It was a single minded focus on the future and for the wonderful things that lay ahead.In contrast to that though, is the understanding that not everything about the prophetic ministry points to the future or even the present. Prophets encourage us that no matter what the future holds, we can face it with confidence because God is there.But occasionally, they look backwards because there are things that God wants to remind us;
- God has a history of being faithful
True to His covenant to never leave or forsake us, God has been impeccably faithful to Himself and His wonderful promises. And by looking at the past, the prophet reminds the church so that they can look forward with great confidence and hope.
- God has been at work
There are things that God has been doing in the Church; preparing, providing, protecting and assisting, that we at times, are just not aware of. Such a revelation, once revealed prepares hearts to willingly embrace all that the future holds (John 2:19-22). God is very gracious and loves His people beyond their capacity to comprehend or understand. It is a matchless love.
- God values our past
This is a hard one for many to grasp, but there are elements of our past that mean a lot to God. Nothing motivates an individual like encouragement and commendation. It’s no different for God. There are certain things in the past that we have done really well and sometimes it is as if God wants you to know, “that was good! Well done!”.We are urged by Paul to find our what pleases the Lord, and even urged, “Children obey your parents for this is pleasing to the Lord”. (Colossians 3:20)
The prophetic ministry looking backwards over the shoulder of our life together, sometimes sees these things, and it is God’s good pleasure to reveal them and remind us of them, so that we are not left guessing.
- There are more lessons to remember than we realise.
We have learned a great deal about God in the past. We have also learned many valuable lessons about what it means to trust Him. And not only Him, but God also wants us to remember that we can trust one another. Not all the time, but we are learning to live in a serving manner for one another, as unto Christ.There are many lessons to learn, but the profound thing is that there are many, many more positive lessons to learn than negative ones.
But just like driving in real life – don’t focus too much on the very small distance behind you. The future is in front, and in Christ, it is truly magnificent!