Yesterday, I looked at why so many of us live in the past. Let’s be honest, living in the past is a lot easier than being in the present. Certainly easier than shooting for the future. But we’ll get to that tomorrow.
To live in the present, we must work through the things in our past, see how the gospel rescues us from those things and redeems those things. For many, it is hard to understand how the gospel not only changes our past, but redeems those things. How does God work in our past, working to make all things new, redeeming those hurts in our past?
Many times, even followers of Jesus get caught up in thinking and identifying with their past and their past sins. You are no longer slaves to those things. You are no longer slave to those hurts, those addictions, those hang ups. You are a son or a daughter of God. Bought with the blood of Jesus. Yet, we don’t live like it. We live as if our past has control over us. As if we can never rise above what we’ve done. We say we are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but we think and live as if that weren’t enough.
Being in the present means we fully embrace our identity in the gospel. Many of us live our lives to appease the idols of our heart. The main ones Tim Keller points out are the idols of comfort, approval, power and control. Those who are able to live fully in the gospel and not worship the idols of the heart are the ones who are able to be fully present because they are able to serve God instead of making choices to serve their idol. We often miss the adventure God wants to take us on because we are afraid of losing control or being uncomfortable. We don’t take stands for faith because we long for approval.
At the end of the day, it is easier to live in the past. It is easier to talk about what has already passed by and miss the present. But, if you miss the present, if you serve the idols of your heart. You will never get to shoot for the future.