November 17, 2016

Click here to read part 1 of my Focus series.  Today I will discuss how looking back when things become difficult can cause you to abort the promises of God.

It is easy to focus on the promises of God when all is going well.  However when things become difficult, it is easy to begin to look back and long for the very thing God delivered you from.  This was the case with the children of Israel in Numbers 14:1-4.  They were on the verge of possessing the promise land and Moses sent 12 spies to take a look at the land.  After 40 days of scouting out Canaan, 10 of the spies came back with a negative report.  Fear got the best of them and they focused on how big their enemies were.  The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb came back with a favorable report and they reminded the people that because God was on their side, they would have the victory over their enemies.  Unfortunately, the Israelites chose to receive the negative report of the 10 spies and wept in fear. They began to look back and long for slavery because their present situation in the wilderness seemed too hard.  Their loss of focus on the promises of God gave them a distorted vision and caused them to long to return to slavery. Seems absurd doesn’t it?  But how often do we lose focus because we are in a difficult place and we begin to long for relationships or circumstances that God delivered us from.  Sometimes the uncertainty of today seems so overwhelming that we forget about the promises of God and we long for a yesterday that had us bound. However we must remember that God is faithful. Don’t abort the promises He has made you by looking back!

Read Numbers chapter 14 and reflect on the following points:

  • Looking back causes you to weep when you should be rejoicing. The children of Israel were on the verge of possessing the Promise Land, a great reason to rejoice but they had the wrong perspective and began to weep in fear.  (Numbers 14:1)
  • Be careful what you say when you are longing for yesterday because it may actually come to pass.  The children of Israel cried and said it would have been better that they died. The Lord had enough of their lack of faith and complaints and granted their request.  All of the first generation of Israelites   that left Egypt except for Caleb and Joshua died in the wilderness. Don’t abort your promise by looking back. (Numbers 14:21-25)
  • Looking back can cause you to falsely accuse God and make you forget all He has done!  Look at the accusations that the Israelites made against God in Exodus 14:3-4“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Now remember these are the same people God delivered in a great way from Pharaoh, the same people who were not affected by the 10 plagues, the same people who witnessed God part the Red Sea for them to walk across on dry land and their enemies were then swallowed up.  THE SAME PEOPLE WERE NOW ACCUSING GOD!

Have you been looking back?  Please pass this along to others who may need this reminder.


Anika Jones

About the Author

Anika Jones

Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.

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