There is an old saying that tells us to, “…never look over your shoulder. Something might be gaining on you.” Turns out, I believe it is excellent advice for Christians. Why? Because, what might be gaining on you, is Satan!
In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, we find King Hezekiah praying to God, “…Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” [Is 38:17, NIV). King Hezekiah prayed this about 700 years before the birth of Jesus. In the verses before verse 17, King Hezekiah was filled with regret and remorse. His anguish led him to seek out God. And (it being ≈700 BC) he did not realize that he was, in actuality (1) under the conviction of the Holy Spirit; and (2) talking to Jesus.
As interesting as I find that connection between the Old and New Testaments, the important part, in this case, is that King Hezekiah said, “…you have put all my sins behind your back.” Behind God’s back his sins would be out of sight and forgotten. And, that is exactly what Jesus has done for us. After we came under the Spirit’s conviction, we prayed for, and got, God’s free gift(s) of salvation and restoration. You see, Jesus has put our sins behind His back—and behind Jesus’ back, …was the cross!
Salvation and restoration, …what does that really mean? Salvation means Jesus accepted our sin burden. All of it. From our perspective that was, past, present and future. From Jesus’ perspective, on the cross in ≈27 BC, it was, …for all remaining time.
Restoration means that “we have been made new.”, Our rightful place as sons or daughters of God has been restored to us. (We lost our standing with God, when Adam and Eve committed the original sin of disobeying God’s command about eating the fruit of the ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’. Thus, all of mankind has been living in sin and under a sentence of death, ever since that fateful day.) After Jesus accepted our plea for salvation, we were restored to our rightful place as a son (or daughter) of God. And, we will live with God for eternity.*
So what’s the big deal about looking over our shoulder? When we do that we are calling up our past. This is not good. We cannot remember the past perfectly; nor, can we even begin to understand all that was going on in both the seen and unseen realms. It will likely create a mix of emotions—that can open the door to Satan. He’ll be whispering (or shouting) “Do you really think anyone, especially God, is going to forgive you for doing that! Look at what you did, and worse yet, look at what you thought! You wallowed in sin! And now you think you’re saved, but deep down, …I think we both know different!”
Yes! This can lead to doubting our salvation—especially for new Christians. STOP! Do you believe Jesus, or not? Do you believe God is stronger than Satan, or not? Jesus says that our sins are washed clean in His blood, as if they never occurred. And, He has given us a new life! Two perfect reasons to never dredge up past sins. We can see neither the past nor the future! Our job is to concentrate on the here and now, taking it one day at a time.
We did not work to buy our salvation and restoration. They were free gifts from God’s inexhaustible supply of love. Now our work begins. We are made new. We have some growing to do. We need to build our faith and our relationship with Jesus. Ask Him to teach us His ways. And, we need to learn to live in His presence—following the perfect plan He has for each of us. Let it become our passion. We will never regret it. Can you imagine stepping forward at judgment; and, hearing Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Enter now, into your eternal reward.”
I praise You for my salvation and restoration. I praise You for the unmerited blessings You have bestowed on me; and, my family. I look forward to the time when I’ll hear those words of welcome.
Yet there are many who do not know You; and I think their time is getting short. Use me Lord, to do Your work here on earth. Let Your light of love and peace shine through me, that others might be saved.
I see the perfection of Your plans, from Genesis 1:1 to this day. So, forgive me Lord, when I worry about the future. Your perfection, Your plans, Your planet. Who am I to worry or question, …anything. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
* If you really want to know how much this free gift of salvation and restoration is worth, get your Bible and turn to the New Testament, Book of Romans. When you get there, read Chapter 6. We owe God, …everything!