When I learned to drive a car, my driving instructor taught me to scan my rear view mirrors periodically as I drove down the road.  He wanted to make sure I was aware of any other vehicle that might be approaching so I could avoid pulling out in front of it and getting into an accident.  However, he also advised me to keep my eyes on the road before me.  If my attention were to stay on what was behind me for too long, I would not see what was right in front of me and I would crash.

It is the same in our response to God's forgiveness of our sins.  God promises that when we come to Him with a humble and contrite heart He will forgive us. He will cleanse us and give us a new and fresh beginning. But do we ever have sins in our past that we refuse to release?  Maybe we may think they are too big or too painful to be fully forgiven.  We somehow think that even though our Lord has pardoned us, we need to continually punish ourselves by keeping our eyes on our past.  But, just as when we operate a car, if we keep our focus on the rear view mirror for too long we won't be able to see the beauty that the Lord is offering right in front of us.

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin” (Romans 4:7-8).

One of the enemy's biggest tricks is to try to keep us chained to our past.  Nothing would give him more satisfaction than to have us stay prisoners to our sins even though the Lord has unlocked our cell and opened the door.  When we remain in our prisons we allow the enemy to fill our mind with thoughts of self-loathing, despair, and hopelessness and that is not what our Savior wants for us.  Through His forgiveness, the Lord is giving us the joy of living our lives in freedom.  God wants us to experience His love and peace but we can't do that when we refuse to let go of what He has already forgiven.  When we believe the lies of the enemy, we are in a way, saying that what Christ did on the cross was in vain. 

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death" (Romans 8:1-2).

I'm not saying we should never look back, but when we do, we need to do it with thankfulness to God as we remember how far He has brought us, and with hope as we remember how much love He showed us through the sacrifice He made to set us free.  Let's remember that because of His forgiveness, when we glance back, we need only see hope in the rear view mirror.


  1. Oh, Joan, what a powerful post. I needed to read that tonight. You are right - He has taken it all; forever and ever. We do not need to look back or even take it back again. I love what you wrote in your last sentence "...we need only see hope in the rear view mirror" - Amen!
    I really like your blog - so encouraging!

  2. Being a visual person, I love this and will remember this post and photo when that Enemy comes to me with his lies!! xo

  3. Such truthful words spoken here, bless you.

  4. I was captivated with this piece b/c I say ALL THE TIME what the Holy Spirit shared with me....:there's a reason the rearview is smaller than the windshield". We must focus on where He is TAKING us, not that from which we've been delivered! It's necessary to GLANCE to the rearview....it reveals how far we've come!

    So glad to have found you & I look forward to following you & thank you for your comments on mine. I hope you will continue to come back.


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