No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).
Have you ever reminisced about what Papa has done in your past, the victories you had, or how He used you? It is good to reminisce about these things, they become like the pillars written about in the Old Testament. We won’t forget what Papa has done when we have a pillar to remind us. We need to be wary of the houses we often build for ourselves in the Lands of Better When.
What do I mean? The Lands of Better When are those places where we park our thoughts and/or our sense of how things are done for the kingdom; also known as “everything was better when…” Often we find ourselves mentally stuck in this place, making it difficult to move forward. The Lands of Better When can be enticing, yet they are paralyzing; blinding us to what Papa is doing in the right here and now all the while keeping our feet in the quicksand of memory. This is also the place where the devil can wreak havoc on our mental, physical and spiritual health. The Lands of Better When are best only briefly revisited, and only when we are looking ahead at what great move Papa has in store on the horizon. These visitations should be points of comparison to the higher height and greater glory of our upward mobility.
When Paul writes about forgetting the past, he isn’t referring to forgetting just the parts of his life before Christ, or perhaps the things that didn’t go well; I believe he is also referring to what the Lord has done up to that point, the good things. 2 Corinthians says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (NKJV). We are being transformed from glory to glory, which means we are ever changing, ever growing, and always moving forward. In order to climb mountains, we must be looking up! There is no way we can successfully move ahead if our vision is focused on what has already passed. Just because we think things were better in the past does not mean that Papa desires it to continue that way. He can, and does, make new things.
Psalm 84:6-7 is a great reminder that we only pass through valleys, going from strength to strength. We must remember we are on a journey where living in the Lands of Better When will keep us from fulfilling our God-given purpose. It is time to pack up and call the demolition team to handle the house that has held you hostage in the past. Papa wants more for you, He wants you to move forward. He has higher heights, greater works and outstanding strength for you.
If Papa takes us from strength to strength, higher heights and glory to glory, then He surely will have greater things in store then what has happened before. Wouldn’t you agree?
Jesus: Because you have so little faith. I tell you this: if you had even a faint spark of faith, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and because of your faith, the mountain would move. If you had just a sliver of faith, you would find nothing impossible (Matthew 17:20 VOICE).
The other day the Lord spoke to me about mustard seed faith and I’ve been pondering the exchange. He asked me “What size faith do you have?” I’d like to believe I have great faith, but when He asked me that question, I realized I did not. You see, I have been praying for a few personal things a number of years now with no sign of my prayer being answered. This, the Holy Spirit showed me, is not because Papa isn’t interested in answering my prayer. It is because He is interested in my professed and private level of faith.
I want to move mountains, I want to rival the apostle Paul and the prophet Elijah in faith level, I want to see Jesus do what only He can do. However, I won’t if my faith isn’t at least mustard seed size. This is determined by the thoughts between my ears that escape from my lips. I have come to believe there is great wisdom in Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips (NKJV)”. If I am not professing my faith and belief in Papa keeping His word, then I am professing doubt and unbelief. The Holy Spirit showed me, very gently, how I have been sabotaging my own prayers.
Hebrews 11: 1 tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“. Papa wants to grow my faith, He wants to see me move beyond allowing disappointment and discouragement to take root and into a level of seeing my personal petitions come to fruition. It is not unheard of, it is not impossible. He can move mountains and so can I, with faith as small as a mustard seed.
I write this as an encouragement. Papa has never, ever failed me and I know He never will. He will answer my prayers, and I will no longer speak doubt over them. He loves me, He is for me, He is my greatest cheerleader. He wants to show me how to move mountains, and He will show you too!
What are you believing for? What size is your faith?