Now that you have seen how important prayer and learning can be, let me announce what “A” is for: Advance. As simple as it seems, advancing is not as easy as it may sound. When I say advance I mean being able to move beyond the past. Far too often people bring the past into the present and it inhibits the future. I can assure you God is not moving backwards. His kingdom is advancing and He is inviting you to join Him.
In Philippians 3:12-16, Paul deals with this idea of moving forward. If there were ever anyone who could have brought his past with him, it was Paul. Yet Paul says that he had to forget the past and focus on the future in order to advance. Believe me, Satan will seek to get you to focus on past failures and mistakes because when he does, he keeps you from seeing Christ. Notice in Philippians 3:13 that he says he is “straining forward”. This means that he is doing whatever it takes to advance. As Satan approaches you to remind you of your past, remember that Christ has called you to advance, and God will empower you to do it. Look at what Victor Kiam said:
“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”
Too much of our energies are focused on the wrong things. We invest time, resources, and life looking backward instead of looking forward. Just a quick question: What are you looking forward to in 2013? Knowing the answer to that question will help you advance.
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
Psalm 24:16 is a verse encouraging us to move forward.
“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
How amazing is it to know that through the power of God we are able to rise again? Every time we fall, God encourages us to rise again! This is Gd’s plan is it not? God wants us to move forward, and upward!
May I offer a few truths about advancing so that you can have a clear picture of it.
1) Sometimes moving forward means moving through.
What this means is that there are no shortcuts. We can’t circumvent God. Just as God took the children of Israel “through” the Red Sea, He will bring us through some things for us to advance.
2)Advancing is sometimes painful.
None of use like pain. However pain is a powerful tool in bringing us to the future. You have probably heard the phrase “No pain. No gain.” Anyone who wants to advance in their strength must be willing to suffer through some pain first. Then they become stronger. This is no different spiritually. If we are to be stronger, let’s grow forward.
3) Go somewhere on purpose.
You may want to go somewhere but many people do! The fact is that many people have no idea where they want to eventually end up and therefore just wander through life. This is not God’s ideal for anyone.God has a specific plan, agenda and mission for you to accomplish. The best way for this mission to succeed is to for you to know where you want be in and in how much time you desire to reach that goal.
For 2013 to be better than last year, you have to be committed to advancing. Get beyond your past by making a P.L.A.N. Check back tomorrow for the final part of this series.