Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
— Luke 9:62 (ESV)
Adapted from the resource Healing the Soul of a Woman – by Joyce Meyer
Part of the beauty of what happens when God heals your soul is that He offers you a fresh start—a whole new beginning. But embracing the new life He has for you will be very difficult if you’re still holding on to the past. Think of it like this: If you’re walking through the grocery store with your hands full of oranges and someone tries to give you several apples to carry, you can’t hold them. In order to take the apples, you have to put down the oranges. In the same way, you have to let go of the past to pick up the new beginning God offers you.
Part of freeing yourself from the load of your past means refusing to look back and not replaying certain scenarios in your mind. Refusing to look back means resisting regret, turning away from past relationships that aren’t good for you, and letting go of mistakes and feelings like guilt and shame. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13 that he forgets what lies behind and strains “forward to what lies ahead.” It’s interesting that Paul says he strains forward. This tells us that moving ahead requires effort, which isn’t always easy. Letting go of the past can be hard to do, but it’s much better than remaining stuck in it.
When God asks us to let go of the past and look toward a better future, He also gives us the grace to do it. We need to be very careful about thinking or saying that what He asks of us is too hard. Nothing is too difficult for Him (see Jeremiah 32:17), and His Spirit in us empowers us to do everything He’s called us to do (see 1 Corinthians 3:16).
In Genesis 19, a man named Lot and his family lived in a city so filled with sin and perversion that God destroyed it completely. But before He did, God sent angels to warn Lot ahead of time, telling him to get out of the city with his wife and daughters. When the angels took them by the hand and led them away, they said, Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop . . .(Genesis 19:17 ESV). But Lot’s wife looked back anyway—and turned into a pillar of salt (see Genesis 19:26). Her decision to look back not only kept her from escaping, but robbed her of the better life she could have had—it cost her everything.
I want to encourage you to keep looking ahead and keep moving forward, so you can enjoy the beautiful life God has waiting for you!
Prayer Starter: Father, please show me where I’m stuck in the past, and give me the grace to let go of any unhealthy ties I may be holding onto. Thank You for the gift of a new beginning. In Jesus’ name, amen.