There’s another valuable truth in moving forward to the next chapter of “the story” of your life. Although the analogy, “you can’t begin reading the next chapter of a book until you stop re-reading the previous” is true, there is merit in reviewing previous chapters.
However, you have to decide what the re-read does to your heart. Encourage or discourage.
I recently read a testimonial book that had a very enriching impact on me. In the last several nights, I have re-read parts of the book. Those nightly re-reads illicit the same encouragement that the original read did. It has had a positive and reenforcing nurturing effect on my soul. That makes review something that I believe is essential to our inner health (that ultimately also has a positive impact on the outer strength.
So, here’s the rule…
Move forward. Don’t wallow in the rehashing of a negative past. Start “reading” the next chapter of your life with positive anticipation.
But on the other side of the coin…
Practice reading your story with your God given imagination. Start seeing His glory in your life before you’ve seen it play out with your natural physical eyes. That’s a positive and spiritual form of meditation…pondering…musing. Seeing what it would look like if God actually did what you’re asking Him to do.
Right here is where your inner negative coach will kick in and say something like, “What if what you want isn’t the will of God. What if it’s your vain imagination and fleshly desire?!! Huh…huh…what do you have to say to that oh great imaginative one!!??
It’s my considered opinion that one of the most effective firey darts that’s in the devil’s arsenal sounds so logical….and spiritual. There just enough suggestion of truth that we swallow the poison pill. I don’t need to repeat it because you’ve heard it a thousand times, but I will for clarity sake here:
“What if what you’re asking isn’t the will of God? What if it’s just your own fleshly desires?”
Well, for one thing, I’m going to have to leave those things for you to decide, but if you’re heart’s desire is to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (as Paul says) and if you’re not holding on to stuff that your gutt knows is “off track” then trust your God-given imagination.
If your imagination nurtures a sense of hope and anticipation and simply “sounds like God’s heart” then trust it.
If you’re responding to the inner nudges to seek the pleasure of relationship with Him, then trust what your God given imagination paints on your inner eye. Trust what your heart is telling you that would look like.
In Review: Decide what emotional and spiritual effect re-reading previous chapters is having on you. Anticipation? Hope? Faith? Discouragement? Fear? Anger? Hopelessness? Respond regarding the “re-read” accordingly.
“He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we could ask or think according to that power that is at work within us.” – Paul to Ephesus.
What is something you hope for in 2013? Let’s exchange thoughts.