During my career, I was at the genesis of the explosion of software development. There were fifty jobs for every experienced developer. As a Christian, this became a stumbling block for me. Was the job offer from God, or was it worldly wisdom?
We Can’t Find Our Future by Looking Back
I can’t recall how many times I prayed fervently for God’s will and wisdom in making life-changing decisions. Some jobs would double my salary, but was it God’s time to leave? Several times I made wrong decisions. But, for the most part, God protected me and guided me through His wisdom.
On the second day of one of my jobs, I sat in my car at noon and prayed that God would release me and let me return to my old job. Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wanted to go back? It’s like buyer’s remorse. I have a feeling that many, but not most, people have felt that deep desire to return back to sometime.
Going Back Won’t Move Us Forward
In today’s text, we see that the Israelites wanted to return to their merciless taskmasters in Egypt instead of going to where God called them. God judged them for their lack of faith.
“But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt.”Acts 7:39
Faith Moves Us Forward
It takes faith to go forward instead of backward; honest, active faith. Even if we went back, it wouldn’t be like it was. The euphemism, “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t know,” is a homemade scripture. It’s not in the Bible, but it’s something many of us may have felt.
The Apostle Paul addressed this trait of human nature in Phillipians 3:13-14.
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
Notice in this passage of Scripture the word “upward.” This is how God calls us; upward is closer to God. He calls us to higher places, spiritually. There is no promise of worldly comfort or a new house, but how spectacular it is to be known by God and chosen to be closer to Him!
As King David wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
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