“And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.”
One of the things that I love about Abraham is that he knew the importance of having a right direction, and he never allowed convenience to influence him about going back to where he came. When Abraham was an old man, his son had yet to be married. Abraham called his most trusted servant and commissioned him to find a wife for Isaac. The one clear instruction that Abraham told his servant was that he was not to bring his “son thither again.” Abraham’s servant asked about what to do if the lady that he found was not willing to follow him to where they were, and his response was, “bring not my son thither again.” It is very clear that when Abraham moved on from the past that he intended not to visit it again. He intended for his son never to go back to the past but to move forward by faith. Several principles from this story can help you in your Christian walk.
First, when you surrender the past as done is when you find the future for what you are looking. The reason this servant found Rebekah so quickly is because he understood the importance from his master not to move back to the past. Many people want to go back to the past and have what they used to have, but only the faith-forward life is where you will find what you are looking for. You can carry the past in hopes that it will become a part of your future, but the past has a chain that pulls you away from the faith-forward life and robs you of the blessings that faith has for you. My friend, to hold onto the past in hopes that it will give you what “you” want is to reject God’s will that He has for you in the future. You will only find God’s will and blessings by letting go of the past and moving forward.
Second, when you revisit the past, you will find that the past has moved on. I spent all of my teenage years in Salinas, California. In my mind, I still have a picture of what Salinas is like. What I found out when I revisited the city is that it is no longer the image of what I remember because it has moved on. What you consider the past to be is no longer reality because it has moved on while you have lingered in hopes of going back to what it “used to be like.” If you were to go back to the past, you will find that the past has moved on, and you will be highly disappointed that you wasted so many years trying to live in the past.
Third, convenience should never cause you to surrender the faith-forward direction to go back to revisit the past. Just because it might be convenient to run back to the past does not make it right to leave the forward walk of faith. When you try to live in the past or try to run back to the past, you are leaving the life of faith that God has for you. Convenience is not an excuse to go backwards. Certainly, a faith-forward direction is hard, but the greatest rewards are always found when you leave the past to go forward by faith.
Fourth, your children will never understand the faith-forward life if you choose to go back. Abraham’s decision to move forward influenced Isaac to continue walking where God wanted them to live. My friend, the only way you will teach your children the life of faith is to determine never to return “thither again.” You will have a much easier time convincing your children to live the life of faith if you refuse to live in the past and by example move forward by faith.