If one were to ask you, “Does your past or future primarily influence and shape your life,” what would you answer? We may have handicaps, traumatic family of origin issues, school and work failures, abuse, pride, fame, or poverty and wealth that have dynamically affected us. On the other hand, we may have been primarily influenced by our future of being a great athlete, musician, dancer, CEO, homemaker, brick layer, minister, or writer. We can also live for the here and now, which is generally unsuccessful. If we live in light of the future – the coming Kingdom of God, we will now have the greatest fulfillment known to man and that is to be loved by Yahweh.
Matthew 6:31-33 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Seeking the Kingdom of God is having a loving relationship with Yahweh and our Lord Jesus Christ. This loving relationship does not center on how much money we earn, how many children we have, authority we may hold over others, but by our heart being steadfast in pursuing a calm, peaceful, caring, love-filled relationship with our heavenly Father.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
We can so easily say, “I don’t let the past bother me or worry about my retirement fund that will allow me to have fun in my old age.” But yet we allow the deficits of our childhood and young adult years to influence our daily lives by lack of faith that we can be healed, delivered, and move on. We also forget that even though we work two or three jobs, it is Yahweh who provides for us.
Israel had a lot of trouble keeping their eyes singly on Yahweh. After the spectacular deliverance from the Egyptian army, they soon made a golden calf and wanted to go back into their slavery. After Yahweh had provided manna in the morning and quail at night to sustain them, healed them from snake bites, gave them water out of a rock, they still did not believe Yahweh would give the Promised Land into their hands. Moses warned Israel that they needed to be vigilant in how they would respond to the wealth of their new homeland. Their past and present circumstances, positive and negative, could certainly influence their future.
Deut. 6:10-15 “Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
Israel did become complacent with the “fat of the land” and in tolerating and worshipping other gods. It did not work well for Israel to disobey Yahweh. Despite humanity’s sin, in His love, Yahweh sent His Son to demonstrate this love for us.
Jesus came to show us God’s love. It is from this love that God has for His perfect Son and each of us that He will provide for us everything we need. This is evident in our lives when we love Him and Him alone.
Yahweh initiates our love relationship with Him. He calls us and constrains us to love Him. We should be able to say unequivocally that we love Him with all of our heart. The quality of this relationship effects how well we intimately know Yahweh and Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:9-10, 19 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [payment] for our sins. We love, because He first loved us.
When we are selected out from others by someone who loves us, it is a wonderful warm and invigorating feeling. When we are singled out by Yahweh for Him to love us, there are no words to describe the emotions or impact of that gesture.
I tend to feel worthless and useless if I am not busy doing things. I have to keep reminding myself that the most important matter in my life is to be loved by Yahweh and to love Him. Out of that intimate relationship, I go about His work in my life with much greater confidence. He constrains us to love Him and in doing that, we accept His love and we obey Him. Our service is an expression of our love and obedience. Our service is NOT love in itself, it is obedience to His love.
If we allow our past, present, or future concerns to allay us from being in the presence of Yahweh and accepting Christ’s love for us, we need to take time to be quiet in His presence and just have a good talk and learn how to receive His love. The new present becomes the godly past, which will be filled with love and godly accomplishment, while the future holds bright promises of loving and being loved by Yahweh and Jesus Christ for eternity.