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Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A life moving forward
© George Hartwell, all rights reserved, June 2006
There is a time for everything: a time to repent and a time to move forward. Wisdom 101
When is it necessary to turn back and when is it not? To repent or not to repent, that is the question.
In battle there times to retreat, times to hold one's position and times to advance.
Bible, too, speaks of times of retreating (repentance), times to hold a position, and times to move forward.
A million unarmed people face slaughter in battle from the trained Egyptian army. The year is 1200 BC and the million are slaves who are escaping from Egypt. Faced with sure defeat the people say: "Hey, Moses, forget this. Let's go back." Moses says: "Stand still and pray. Let's see what god will do." God, on the other hand says: "Move on Moses. What have I taught you about your authority? Use the rod."
[Here are all three options in one story: repent (go back), stand still (hold your position) and move forward. In this case Yahweh advocates move forward.]
Turning back is not God's usual option except for repentance for covenant breaking sin.
At his call Elisha wanted to "Kiss my mother and father goodbye" meaning waiting for his family inheritance and then moving out. At that Elijah dismissed him saying: "Go back. What have I done to you?" [Here is moving forward is again affirmed.]
The principle of moving forward is in Jesus' heart as well when He says: "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Look at the whole passage in Luke 9:49 to 62 as affirming moving forward in service:
1.Don't stop the person who is moving forward. Luke 9:49,50.
2.Don't get sidetracked by those who withdraw hospitality. Move on. 9:51-56
3.Call to Kingdom service is your top priority. No turning back. Luke 9:57-62.
Jesus desire to move forward was intense as reflected in the passage Luke 12:49 to 53. I have come to bring fire on the earth and how I wish it were already kindled. Using the messages before and after this intense passage I come up with the following message:
1.Focus on producing treasure for heaven, Luke 12:21, 33
2.Be faithful in managing what has been given to you (feed my sheep), 12:35, 42
3.Use your discernment - judge for yourselves what is right. Luke 12:54 - 57
4.My people must repent and bear fruit or perish. Luke 13:5-9, see also John 15.
5.The demands of the law must bow to God's heart to set His people free. Luke 13:1-17.
6.The kingdom of God is about growth - seeds grow to trees. and bear fruit 13:19
Principle: Move forward and keep moving forward so that you can bear fruit for God's Kingdom.
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