“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23…….
Sometimes the Lord makes abundantly clear to us it’s time to move on, to let go, to go ahead, to press forward, to leave something or someone behind, because it’s His will, because it’s His time, for His glory, because we who follow Him are His and are here to love and follow Him, and are to go forward when He says to go forward, and, in love for and obedience to Him, we do let go, we do move on, we do press forward, following Him, even when it’s hard, or not, no matter what we feel like when we make the big move forward, and do the big letting go, in reverence to Him, and then something happens. One day, when it’s soon after our big step forward, or somewhere down the road, even as much as years down the road, we do this. We look back. And that’s when we see the bait.
The bait of going back. Satan dangling his yummy delicious fantastic beautiful gorgeous lovely wonderful marvelous etc. looking bait of going back to the place the Lord told us to leave behind, to the person God told us to let go, to something, or someone, in the past, whether the recent past or even long ago, the Lord wanted us to leave in our past because He clearly, yes, clearly, told us to move ahead. And what happens when we see the bait?
Oh, it looks so good. So yummy. I’ll only go back for a little while. This time it will be different. It won’t be bad this time. I know God told me to let go, but still. Just for a little bit. There was nothing wrong with it, right? So what’s wrong with going back? In the past the Lord led me there, maybe not now, but in the past He did, so why can’t I go back to it? So what if He told me it’s time to move to the next place? I know. I’ll keep moving forward, but I’ll reach out just one of my hands to go back, and hold on, to that thing or person He said it was time to say goodbye to. I know God will be okay with it. I know He told me He wants me somewhere else now, but still. Still. Yes, still.
Friend, do not be surprised when you move forward in the will of the Lord if the devil comes along and tries to bait you backward, to dangle the bait of going back right in front of your flesh, trying to get you to take it and turn backwards, to go backwards, to stop following the Lord forward, and to disobey God and grab hold of something or someone the Lord told you it was time to let go. There may be absolutely nothing wrong with what God told you to leave behind. A wonderful job. A great ministry opportunity. A fabulous neighborhood. A successful career. Whatever. Or whomever.
But the bottom line is this. We need to follow Jesus. And unless we are clear the Lord wants us to go back to something, or someone, in His time, for His glory, then we need to keep our hearts and eyes on Him and keep moving where He is leading us. And, with Him, in Him, through Him, and for Him, we need to go forth. For the glory of God almighty, we need to say no to Satan’s bait of going back – and rejoice as we walk forth with the Lord!
Please be careful. If you’re thinking of going back, seek the Lord. Trust Him to tell you what to do. And, humbly, lovingly, reverently, obey Him. And to Him be all glory, amen!