I’ve lived long enough to learn something: no matter what season of life you’re in, your best and brightest days are just around the corner. That’s not just my opinion and it’s not a pious platitude; it’s biblical truth. When you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, your future is always unfolding at the speed of grace. God is waiting to use you now more than ever, and your life is far from finished. It’s just beginning.
Think of it this way. Your car’s rearview mirror is a fraction of the size of the windshield, and there’s a reason for that. Safe drivers glance in the mirror but focus on the road ahead. But how would you like to be the kind of driver preoccupied with the mirror? Too many people travel through life that way. They regret yesterday’s failures, rehash yesterday’s blessings, coast through life on a quarter-tank of fuel, and hope for a scenic overlook ahead. Too often that leaves them stalled by the side of the road.
Let me hand you a bucket and rag. Wash the windshield, buckle your seat belt, and shift the car into drive. That was the apostle Paul’s attitude when he declared, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil. 3:13–14 nlt).
That’s been my approach to life too, but I felt a sense of rediscovery in this regard on Sunday, April 14, 2019. That evening at Shadow Mountain Community Church, where I serve, we invited musician Tommy Walker to minister to us in a concert. Tommy is a gifted and heartfelt artist, and his last song grabbed my heart. It was as though he had written and sung that song just for me. Its title was “Forward,” and the lyrics are, in part:
It’s been a long, long road
It’s been a crooked path
With many twists and turns
But I’m not looking back
I’m walking straight ahead
Believing what You’ve said, Lord
That You’re gonna be with me
No matter what life brings
Forward, I’m going forward
To the plans You have for me
To horizons yet unseen
Forward to Your new mercies I will find
As I’m pressing toward the prize
I’m going forward.
In speaking with Tommy after the concert and later reading what he wrote about this song, I came to appreciate those words even more.
Tommy wrote, “This song was written with a sense of determination to move FORWARD by faith into the next season of my life. The older I get, the easier it is to want my life to be safe, comfortable, and predictable. But that’s not God’s plan! The God we worship is a God who loves the new and He’s all about bringing newness to our lives and the lives of those around us.”
Tommy continued, “We will have to let go of the safe and familiar in order to step into the things that bring His life, joy, and power! God desires that all of us press in and press on by faith to the good plans and good works he has for each of us! It’s never too late! Let’s say no to fear, complacency, and comfort and move FORWARD by faith in Jesus Name!”
His song became the theme of my latest book FORWARD: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose in Your Tomorrow.
Effective men and women are forward thinkers. The nineteenth-century preacher F. B. Meyer wrote, “It is a mistake to be always turning back to recover the past. The law for Christian living is not backward, but forward; not for experiences that lie behind, but for doing the will of God, which is always ahead and beckoning us to follow.”
Meyer went on to urge us: “Leave the things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before, for on each new height to which we attain, there are the appropriate joys that befit the new experience. Don’t fret because life’s joys are fled. There are more in front. Look up, press forward, the best is yet to be!”
I’ve thought about this over and over, framing in my mind what that looks like for me. I believe there are ten actions that enable us to aggressively press forward in life:
DREAM: Seize your tomorrow today
PRAY: Consult with your Creator
CHOOSE: Diminish your distractions
FOCUS: Make your one thing the main thing
RISK: Get out of your safe zone
PURSUE: Chase your dream
BELIEVE: Get your mind right
INVEST: Outlive your life
FINISH: You’re not done until you’re done
CELEBRATE: Turn your forward into forever
No matter what season of life you are in, sometimes you just need to jump-start your engine.
I believe the ten steps I unpack in my book will spark your interest and help you move forward with fresh energy. It begins when you start to sense God’s desires and dreams for you, which are birthed in prayer. As those dreams evolve in your heart, you declutter your routine so you can live with sharper focus and deeper faith. You latch on to the truth of God—that He has a unique road map for you and has wonderfully fashioned you for the route He’s chosen.
In the process, you have to cast off pessimism and press onward with a positive mindset like that of the heroes in the book of Revelation who were ready to “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev. 14:4 niv). Your life is an investment with eternal dividends. Here on earth, you’ll finish in God’s timing only to immediately resume your activities in heaven, where an eternity of worship, work, and fellowship awaits you.
In Jesus Christ your life is not obsolete, it’s not out of fashion, and it’s not over!
May the Lord Jesus use this book to help you discover—or to rediscover—the dreams, desires, and driving force He has waiting for you as you shift into following Him forward!
– Dr. David Jeremiah
What is holding you back in life?
No matter your circumstances! No matter where you are in life! No matter your age! God wants you to move FORWARD!
Beloved Bible teacher and New York Times Bestselling Author, Dr. David Jeremiah reveals his personal approach to life and how to find the presence and purpose of God in your future! This book is a master class in how to live fearlessly and get your life in focus! The inspirational content gives you practical biblical insight into the “what’s next” in your life. Learn how God wants to expand your dream, give you divine direction, plant within you a life purpose, equip you with tools to overcome fear, grant you great personal accomplishment, and find a mission that will outlive your life! Don’t get stuck in your past failures or sins or allow present circumstances to keep you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Let Forward be the step-by-step plan of action you’ve needed to move past where you are to where you want to be.
Find joy in pursuing the next steps God has for you and move FORWARD!