Living in the Past

Have you ever known someone who lives in the past? It could be the guy who peaked when he starred on his high school football team and as a grown man relived those glory days. It could be a mother who constantly dresses like her teenage daughter refusing to believe she is long past those funky youthful trends.

Today I read about Rehobam and his family in 2 Chronicles 11 and 12. Rehobam had a faithful beginning to his Lord. He started strong. But by his fifth year as King he had become unfaithful choosing to rely on his own strength instead of God. His days of pleasing God were in the past.

Rehobam could not depend on his former correct actions to ensure his future relationship with God. In a similar way we cannot depend on past faithfulness or former glory days to cement our relationship with God. God is concerned with the choices we make today.

That is both encouraging and challenging. I feel encouraged because no matter how I failed yesterday today is a chance to start over. I do need to address yesterday’s failures and confess and repent as scripture directs, but they do not hold me back from restoring a broken fellowship with my Father.

I also feel challenged. A former spiritual high or walking closely with God for years past means little if I chose to ignore Him today. God is concerned about the current state of our relationship.

I’m not implying or touching on the security of salvation, which is a whole other blog topic for another day. I am simply musing out loud. We all go through dry and challenging stretches. I’m guilty of coasting through days without picking up my bible depending on last week’s prayer to get me through today’s trial.

I wonder how Rehobam moved from a faithful beginning to becoming a King who abandoned the law of his Lord? Did it start with a short stretch of depending on last week’s prayer? Did he stop listening to sound teaching and start listening to his own voice instead?

King Rehobam’s story is both an encouragement and a challenge. It is also a warning I intend to heed.

Joshua 24:15 (New International Version, ©2010)

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

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