What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Inside is much different than what is outside, is it not? Right now, Arizona is warming up and the temperature outdoors is hot, while the cool of the air conditioned inside is much more pleasant. Have you ever tried to take something inside that really needed what was outside in order to prosper and grow? In time, you found it could not adjust to the change and it either beckoned to be released outside again, or it died. We are coming to a peak and possibly the decline in this pandemic. What lies behind each of us with recent events? Some will have no job to return to because they were furloughed and now must find new work once the country 'reopens'. Others will realize they didn't even make a small dent in the cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and foodstuff they squirreled away against 'impending doom'. Still others will emerge with a stronger appreciation of family, friends, and even work! What lies behind is one thing - what lies ahead is another - but as Emerson put it so well, what lies inside of each of us is nothing compared with either of these!
He decided to make known to them His blessing to the nations; the glorious riches of this mystery is the indwelling of the Anointed in you! The very hope of glory. We are preaching Him—spreading the Word to all with equal amounts of wise warning and instruction—so that, at the final judgment, we will be able to present everyone to the Creator fully mature because of what Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, has done. (Colossians 1:27-28)
God made something available to each of us in his Son, Jesus Christ - the indwelling of the very presence of God within our lives - ever present with us. It is that very indwelling presence that gives us the strength to go through what now lies behind each of us. It is also that very presence that gives us the ability to look forward and see the potential ahead of us. But...it isn't the past or the future God wants us to see as much as it is the present. In the present, he communes with us - he puts his light in each of us so that we can be strong, vibrant, and fulfilled. God's presence brings light - it illuminates our inner man. The events of the past are important to recall, learn from, and even celebrate. The ones that lie ahead give us hope and even challenge us to 'move forward'. Yet, it is the very presence of God within us that innervates our body, illuminates our soul, and ignites our spirit. No wonder the past and future pale in comparison to the present!
God comes into our lives - not like bringing something that belongs outside into the inside spaces of our lives - but as someone who really belongs right there. I think we sometimes think God can be 'external' in our lives - like a religious pursuit, but not a life-altering experience. Know this - God isn't an 'external' God - his place is clearly on the inside of each of us - with a special place for his Spirit carved out in each of our lives. We don't make this space - we don't bring him in - we don't even know this space exists! Yet, in asking him into our lives, we find he just 'fits' right there! Why? He created us with that 'space' for him. He only inhabits what was already created to hold his very presence. Why does he indwell his children? To help us grow into the liberty he brings into our lives by his indwelling presence. A liberty to live beyond sin - beyond what lies behind, beyond what may lie ahead - living in the present with liberating victory over sin. We lose sight of the past and stop longing for the future so much when we are at peace just enjoying what indwells us right here and now. Just sayin!