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Looking Straight Ahead ~ Bible Study Notes

January 6, 2010

Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.

  •  Keep your focus straight ahead even when it’s a little scary

As I thought about God’s instruction in this scripture, at first I was thinking, “Why wouldn’t I want to look straight ahead?”  But, as I pondered a little longer I began to be honest with myself.  I realized that sometimes it’s scary to continue looking straight ahead.  The future is filled with many uncertainties that can make us feel insecure. 

We can be tempted to look to the right or left at the distractions of life. We can look down in discouragement.  We can even be tempted to look back at the way things use to be.  But, God tells us “look straight ahead”.  If we hope to fulfill the purposes God has for each of us individually, the first step we all have to take is to make the commitment to keep our focus straight ahead, even when it’s a little scary. 

Jesus is the perfect example of this.  He looked straight ahead when he prayed in the garden and he saw a painful crucifixion in his future. Jesus was able to continue to keep his focus straight ahead and actually see beyond it, “for the joy set before him, endured the cross”.

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Isaiah 43: 16, 18-19  This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

  • Forget the past… Look to the future

The past is filled with both good and bad for all of us.  Regarding our past, both these scriptures use the word FORGET it!  Leave it in the past, let it go.  If we continue to live the way we have always lived, how can anything change?  If we aren’t willing to change, how can God work a “NEW THING” inside of us?  God says to all of us… “See! I am doing a NEW THING! … Do you not perceive it?”  If our eyes are so focused on past, how can we notice when God begins to “spring up a NEW THING”?  Letting go of what is behind is actually a part of moving toward what is ahead.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever… He is still very capable of making a way in the desert areas of our lives.  He still provides streams in the wastelands.  We must keep pressing forward and straight ahead to be a part of it, when he does. 

Exodus 23:20 See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

  • God sends Angels to go before us

As we keep our focus straight ahead, we can rest in faith, believing that God knows what we need.  He knows we need protection and help to get where we need to go.  He has already prepared place ahead of us and equipped us with the protection of his angels as we continue move forward toward the plans He has for our life.

Deuteronomy 1:30, 32-33 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes.   In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. 

  • God Himself goes before us… Do we trust him?

Not only does God command his angels to guard us, God himself goes before us.  This is why the Proverbs 31 woman can “smile and laugh at the days to come” not because she knows the future, because she knows the one who holds her future.  He is already up in front of us, holding his hand out toward us, encouraging us to trust him.  That’s it, isn’t it?  It all boils down to trusting God.  Even though He has proven himself faithful over and over just like the children of Israel in this scripture, “In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you.”  I too have yielded to fear, instead of trusting in the Lord who has gone before me.  Give me more faith Lord, that I will keep moving forward, trusting you and not giving in to fear. 

Hebrews 6:19-20 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.  

  • Jesus went before us, prepared the way for us to go places we never thought we could go

Jesus, the anchor of our soul; hope that is firm and secure.  There once was a time that people like you and I could not enter in to the presence of God.  We would have to depend on the high priest to enter the most Holy place in the temple on our behalf.  All that changed because Jesus became our high priest when he died on the cross for us.  At that very moment, the veil that once separated us from the presence of God was torn. 

Now, because Jesus went before us we can go places and do things we never thought we could.  Through Christ Jesus, God’s most holy presence is available to us any time, day or night.  Jesus gives us confidence to walk and talk with God directly. We have a firm and secure hope as an anchor for our soul… Nothing is impossible with God!  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

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