Don’t look back
When I was a young boy, I used to read the Scriptures a lot. I was fascinated by the stories of great hero’s and villains against God. I still am.
One story that used to really make me think, was the saga of Lot and his family being led out of Sodom and Gomorrah. What an awful place they lived in. I wondered why Lot would keep his family in such a terrible place. Let alone offer his daughters to the people.
The one event in that story that really bothered me was when Lots wife was told, “Do not look back!”
That story made a huge impact in my life. Many times I have been enticed to look back on my life and every single time, the Lord says to me, “What are you doing looking back?”
I want to share a story with you which should give you a deeper understanding of why we are instructed by God to not look back.
It took place during the middle of one very cold winter here. God asked me to go pray for a woman in Spokane. It was already late, about nine pm as I remember. She was dying and the Lord apparently had other plans for her.
I called my Associate Pastor Mark and let him know I was going and he said, “I’ll go with you!” So, I stopped by his house and we headed South.
Mark and I travel well together. We are always comparing notes about what God is doing. We find ourselves always talking about the things of God. Both of us still mesmerized by how Incredible God is.
After a couple of hours, we pulled into the hospital parking lot and got out.
Going up to the front doors, we found them locked. Goodness…
I pushed the door bell / intercom and a guard asked us what we needed. I told him we were pastors here to pray with a patient. He immediately let us in, even making sure we had no problem getting to the elevators.
Pastor Mark commented, “He must be concerned someone is dying and we’re here to pray before they die.”
We both smiled. We knew the person we were praying for would be healed and not dying.
After prayer, we headed out of the hospital to go home. I remember how good the cold night air felt when we got outside. It was about fifteen degrees with snow on the ground. The roads were slick, but there were few vehicles out at that time of the night.
Along the way, I decided to take a different route home thinking it would save us a little time. The new route took us up a very nice freeway with eight lanes both directions. I was cruising in the fast lane and there were no cars to be seen in either direction. I thought to myself how nice it was to be using such a freeway all to ourselves.
Then it happened. Out of nowhere a huge deer came running across the freeway and with perfection, it stopped right in front of me. That thing hit hard and then wrapped itself down the drivers side of the vehicle.
The noise of crumpling sheet metal with it’s shear weight made for interesting sounds. I was sure my Tahoe was totaled.
Mark instantly said, “Did you see it’s eye?” I said, “I did.”
Mark said, “It was pitch black”
We both knew a demon had entered the deer and taken us out. Oh Satan… I guess he was ticked that we had prayed for the woman who he thought was his.
Based on the sounds the deer caused the car to make I was sure we didn’t want to be stuck in Spokane in the middle of nowhere. Nice freeway and all.
Instantly the Holy Spirit said, “Go home. The car is fine.”
I immediately remembered who I am in Christ and declared in Jesus Name, “Lord, thank You that there is no body damage to this vehicle!” Pastor Mark agreed with the declaration and we didn’t bother to even look at the damage.
You see, you can’t make a declaration as I had just made and then get out to see if it worked. That borders on unbelief and doubt. In the book of James, we are taught, if a man doubts, he is a double-minded man. And further, “That man should not think he will receive anything he asks for.”
I reiterated with Pastor Mark my thoughts and what the Spirit had told me. We both agreed, we would continue on home.
Along the way, I kept wrestling with my thoughts. “Surely the Lord fixed the damage. You should look to make sure your prayer was answered!”
Have you ever had these types of thoughts? Paul told us to bind them and cast them down to the obedience of Christ.
I thought, “That deer surely made a ton of noise going down the side of the vehicle. I should see what the Lord did…”
But I knew if I did, I would be walking outside of what I had declared. I would be testing the Lord. Ugh…
“Ok Lord, I won’t look at the damage. I believe in the declaration I made. Thank You for fixing the damage that I heard.”
We continued on our way.
About ten miles from home, we came up on a gas station that was closed, but the lights over the pumps happen to be the brightest of any gas station in the world.
I reasoned with myself and the devil and every demon in the Galaxy… “I should take a look to see what God did. Then I can glorify Him for it”
So, guess what I did? Yep, I pulled over to the side of the road and stopped under the bright lights of the gas station. I hoped out and looked at the damage.
Oh, I am sorry I did.
You see, the only damage that was visible was to a few broken pieces up front. Two of the lights were broken and the front grill was cracked. That was it.
Why did I look back? I’m sure you’re asking the same question.
I fully expected to see the whole drivers side of my Tahoe crumpled. Instead, there was a slight wrinkle on the front fender. It is so slight that when I looked at it, I realized God allowed that part to stay. Why…
Because He knew I would look. It was my salt. It was my looking into the mirror of doubt and not trusting God fully for what I had declared.
He left me my measure of doubt to be seen as long as I own the vehicle.
Once again, I asked Jesus to forgive me for doubting Him. He forgave me, but the smile on His face was there. He was like the perfect Father smiling when we blow it. Smiling because He is willing to forgive, but well… don’t do it again. That smile.
Every time I go out to my Tahoe, I see that little wrinkle. It’s a great reminder to me to not look back in life, but to press on with Christ Jesus.
Paul said it this way…
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do,] forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
That’s what we’re supposed to do. One day at a time. Just press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call in Christ.
I’m guessing you have some things you need to stop looking back on. Let it go. Forgive it. Release it. For all you will have is another dent to look at.
With love for your life
Pastor Jeff Mauer