Both the ability to look backward and to look forward have the potential for great harm if they are not managed wisely. We can only do with the present moment what God would want us to do if we hold to a productive view of the past and the future.
For every human being there is at least someone whose acceptance it is important for that person to have. And the difficult question is this: what if doing God’s will does not result in that someone’s acceptance and approval? Will we obey anyway?
If our relationship with God is based upon love, we can ill afford to let self-centered (though we would simply call them “practical”) motives enter in. Our enjoyment of God cannot depend on whether some desired payoff is being received from Him.
How much risk are we willing to take in order to obey God, particularly in situations where Hiss instructions go against our instincts or our preferences? Real trust requires that we cling to God alone and let go of any other safety or security.
The surest way to grow in our love for God is to meditate on the depth of His love for us. If we have even the smallest fraction of the love for our Lord that He has shown toward us, we will not love Him with anything less than all of our hearts.
Our minds are tugged this way and that by multiple concerns. Consistent devotion to God is a habit that must be acquired, a skill that must be learned. Like most other good things, godliness takes training, discipline, and regular practice over time.
If God is real, then His reality must be allowed to cut down into the very quick of our conscience. We must be transformed. We must pay more than lip service to the truth that God’s word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.”
Selfish regret is destructive, but our regret need not come from a selfish heart. If our hearts are turned toward God, then pure regret can be a gently poignant reminder of our continuing need for His grace, part of the hunger that brings us to Him.
As life moves on and our decisions multiply, it becomes more and more obvious what kind of stuff we’re made of. When the end comes and we stand before our Maker for His judgment, the evidence will be irrefutable. We will have chosen our destiny.
“Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Who among us can read these words and not think of penitent steps that we need to take so that God can show His love to us?