Christine Caine - Don't Look Back, Part 2
And the Lord said tell the people to get moving, so I'm on this TV show today because I'm here to tell the people get moving. Some of you this is the word of the Lord for you. It's time to get moving. It's time to stop looking back, stop looking back at the offenses. Stop looking back at your enemies. Stop scrolling through social media, stalking those people looking at what they're saying or what they're doing, what they're tweeting or posting. Stop looking back.
The Lord said to Moses, tell the people to get moving. It's time for the people of God to get up and start walking into the purposes of God. Thanks for joining me today on Equip and Empower. There's always something relevant and powerful to discover in God's word, and I'm believing he has something special in store for us today. Prepare your heart. Focus your mind, and let's dive into what he has to say about resisting distractions and embracing his plans and purpose for our lives.
Hey, everyone. I am so grateful that you've joined me again for Equip and Empower. I believe that God has a word for you. It is not an accident that the television has stopped on this channel right now because I believe that God is going to speak to you a word of life, a word of hope, a word of purpose. I want you to know that you are not an accident.
Somebody is watching this right now, and you know what? You tried to change that remote control but you actually couldn't. It just would not change the channel because God with intentionality has purposed for you to stop on this Greek Australian chick with a strange accent is speaking to you, and what I am here to tell you today is that God loves you, God's got a plan for you, God's got a purpose for you. You are not an accident. You were created on purpose for a God given purpose and a God given destiny, and for some of you and someone specifically watching me right now the enemy has been lying to you, and you in fact have been having just thoughts of suicide. You've been having thoughts of not having any value, having had your dignity stolen from you.
You're wondering, you know, why should I keep on living? You've been just turned on the TV. You're holding that remote. You don't even know how this whole situation has happened right now but it's not an accident. God made this happen because he wants you to know that you are valuable, and you will live and not die in Jesus name. In Jesus name. And this message is for you today. And so I'm so grateful that you all have joined me, and we're just in a series about not looking back because let me just say, this is a year... I have never heard about a year as much as we've been talking about this year and that's because there's a lot to talk about. This year there's been so much going on, but if we are not careful we can allow 2020 to define us in the way that I'm talking about means that we just can get stuck here. And we can forget that God has got a plan for us, that God's got a purpose for us. That there's better things ahead of us. There is more ahead of us than there is behind us.
And we were looking at the text in Luke 18 which is an eschatological, that's a very big word, isn't it, end times kind of passage of scripture. And like I said to you last week, most of this stuff I do not understand, so if you're going Christine, I read that stuff in the Bible and I don't know, neither do i. But that's okay because even God himself said you know, when it comes to the times and the seasons and when it comes to the end times, nobody knows the day or the hour. So that is just going to set you all free right there. None of us actually know the day or the hour.
So you can work it all out, but here's one thing I do know. I do know that when I was pregnant with both my girls, if I started to have contractions, you know, at month six or month 7, I didn't really pay that much attention to it. It was kind of like oh, that was bit of a Braxton Hicks. That was a little bit of a contraction. But you know, in month nine, in week 39 and week 40, when I started to have a contraction and then those contractions came every three minutes, and those contractions lasted for quite a while, let me just say that I was alert, that I got in the car with Nick and Nick drove me to the hospital. We didn't know when the baby was going to come, but we knew that baby was going to come soon. We knew that both with Catherine and Sophia, those girls were going to come soon. Why did I know? I knew because we were in the ninth month, and I knew because those contractions were coming every three minutes. The pain was piercing. And the pain lasted for the right amount of time.
I don't know when the moment, the hour, the day, the week, the month that Jesus is going to return, but I'll tell you something, the birth pangs are happening. The contractions are a lot more frequent than they have been. I think we've seen it all throughout 2020. You're kind of seeing wow, look what's going on. Pandemics and locusts and fires and floods and chaos and injustice and crime and violence. And it's all accelerating. It's all accelerating. And when those contractions come with such frequency and such urgency, all I can say is that you've got my attention. Lord, you've got my attention. And I would hope for every believer that God has got our attention because you and I are living between the two advents of Jesus Christ. We are the church on the earth that is here to proclaim the coming of the kingdom.
And here we are in Luke 17, and Jesus talks about that already, the Kingdom of God has come. Jesus has arrived, but not yet. He's coming again. And the fullness of the kingdom will be manifest at that time. Your job and my job as followers of Jesus Christ is to point people to the second coming of Jesus. The second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why we're here for. We're declaring good news. We're pointing people to Jesus. We're saying yes, there is pandemics and yes, there are famines, and yes, there is injustice, and yes, there are fires, and yes, there are floods, and yes, there is so much going on in the world. But there is a king that's returning. Yes, his kingdom is here. And part of my job as a Christ follower is to bring his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We are carriers of the Kingdom of God. The presence of God on the inside of us. Already and not yet, he's coming back. He's coming back. And the fullness of the kingdom is coming back.
In that passage of scripture, Jesus says three words that just blew us all away. Jesus says the words, remember Lot's wife, Luke 17:32. Lot's wife who we saw in Genesis chapter 19 when she was rescued out of Sodom and Gomorrah, rescued miraculously by an angel of the Lord. The one thing she was told was don't look back. Don't turn back. And the one thing she did, the only thing she was told not to do was the thing that she did. She looked back and she turned into a pillar of salt. And Jesus all of those years later is telling us all, I want you to remember Lot's wife. 170 women in the Bible, but I want you to remember Lot's wife.
I want you to learn the lesson of Genesis 19, don't look back. And for some of us this is going to be the biggest lesson that comes out of this year because everything in us wants to keep looking back. Keep rehearsing, keep stating. But if we are going to lay hold of the promises of God, there comes a time where we say I am no longer going to look back. You know, I was driving through, I was on a Jeep in Australia before I was married. I was there with two girlfriends and a couple of other guys that we were friends with. And they were driving the jeep. We were in the Daintree Rainforest in Australia. And we were just feeling very confident and full of joy. And we didn't realize we were in the middle of the wet season so as the Jeep was coming down, the Jeep got bogged, it just like stopped right there in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest. And we got stuck in mud and we kept spinning those wheels, and the Jeep just kept going down deeper, but there was no forward traction. We were going nowhere.
It's a terrible feeling to be stuck. It's a terrible feeling to feel like your wheels are just spinning, and how am I going to get out of here? I don't know how to get unstuck. Now, if we keep looking back, that is one way that will consistently keep us stuck right where we are. The past is often the greatest challenge to us moving forward into our future. You know, like many of you, I came from a background of childhood sexual abuse. I was sexually abused for many many years. I was left in a hospital unnamed and unwanted when I was born. I just came from a background of rejection. My parents were Greek immigrants and we were very marginalized because of my ethnicity and my gender. And you know, I could have spent all of my life on this earth constantly stuck in the pain of that past.
And was it painful? Yes. Did I experience a lot of shame and guilt and pain and rejection and marginalization? Absolutely. But if all I did was continue to rehearse my past and talk about how unfair it was that I came from that kind of background and how unfair it was that all of these things happened to me, and I didn't have the best start in life, I could continue to go over that and over that and over that, and I would never have walked into the fullness of the promise that God has for me. But Jesus came. Jesus saved me. Jesus rescued me. Jesus redeemed me. Jesus delivered me.
And so I don't have to just focus on the past. I can allow God to use my past to give other people a future. I can move beyond my past. Here is the joy and here is the power of the blood of Jesus. It doesn't give you amnesia, but it gives you a life beyond your past. You don't have to be limited or defined by where you were born or who you were to or how you were born or what happened to you in your past or where you were educated or where you lived or how much resources you have. You do not need to be defined by any of those things. You can be defined by who you are in Christ, what Jesus Christ has done for you, what Jesus Christ has given you access to in him and through him.
I refuse to allow my past to define my future. Your history does not need to define your destiny. Jesus Christ and his redemptive work on the cross can give you a life beyond your past. So many of us get stuck in the past, keep looking back. We keep looking back at the past and we never move on. Most of us are just living and reliving the past every single day. Our body is here but everything about us is in the past. And we keep talking about what they did to us and what happened to us and what opportunity I wasn't given or what mistake I made or what failure I did. If you want to move into the future that God has, you gotta let go of your past.
Some of us watching today, you've been stuck in past offenses, stuck in past pain, stuck in failure and disappointment, stuck in shame and guilt. Some have been stuck in old methods. God wants to move you forward, but you refuse to do anything new and to change any of your methods. Some are just stuck in old patterns, old habits, old memories, old relationships, old attachments, old successes, old thinking, old comfort, old fears, old longing. So many missed God given opportunities because you refuse to step into the future. When my parents immigrated from Alexandria, Egypt, they came to Australia, but they brought awful their Greek culture with them, and so if you came and visited my house when we were growing up, although we lived in Sydney, Australia in the 1970's and the 1980's, you would have thought we were living in Athens, Greece in 1895. It's like they brought all of that culture in and we were just in a time warp. An absolute time warp.
My family could have had so many more opportunities in Australia, could have walked through so many doors, but chose to stay limited to the past, defined by the past, defined by past culture, defined by past tradition, defined by past hopes and defined expectations, and they missed so much of the future. I wonder if you've gotten stuck in something because it was comfortable, because you fear that if you move on you're kind of disrespecting culturally or the people that were involved with bringing that kind of culture or tradition or habit into your life. But if you and I are going to do what God has called us to do, then we have to be willing to not look back and to let go of past attachments, let go of things that we were connected to.
Perhaps even break soul ties with people and things that used to bring us comfort, that used to bring us value, that used to bring us significance, that used bring us security. But we have to trust that the God that is there in our future is going to supply all of our needs according to his riches and glory and be willing to let go of the things that are holding us back because we're not stepping into the fullness of what God has for us. And let me just say this year has been so challenging, so many of us are just going to be stuck in weariness, just stuck in exhaustion, and we are going to miss the goodness of God in the land of the living because we are going to just keep looking back instead of stepping into the future that God has for us.
In Exodus 14: 15, I wanted to read you this, the Bible says: when Israel was leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses they looked back, they saw Pharaoh coming to destroy them, and they started freaking out. They saw Pharaoh's best chariots. They saw his army, and God had already said to Moses I'm going to save you, but what happened was the children of Israel were freaking out. They were like, we're going to die. But God had already said you're not going to die. So Moses went to God and he started complaining. He goes all these people are complaining. What am I supposed to do? And the Lord said, tell the people to get moving. So I'm on this TV show today because I'm here to tell the people get moving. Some of you this is the word of the Lord for you. It's time to get moving. It's time to stop looking back. Stop looking back at the offenses, stop looking back at your enemies, stop scrolling through social media stalking those people looking at what they're saying or what they're doing, what they're tweeting, what they're posting, stop looking back.
The Lord said to Moses, tell the people to get moving. It's time for the people of God to get up and start walking into the purposes of God, to stop looking back, to stop rehearsing and step into what God says. Deuteronomy 1: 6 and 7, the Bible says... I'm here to say to someone you've been at that mountain long enough. That mountain of offense, that mountain of the disappointment and discouragement, that mountain of hurt, that mountain of just going over the same old pain, the same old suffering, the same old, you've been there long enough. Are we getting a theme in this series? The Lord said remember Lot's wife. Don't look back. The Lord said to Moses tell the people to get moving. The Lord said to Moses, it's time to move on.
Man, we've gone over this year. We've gone over it and over it and over it. I'm here to say it's time to move on. It's time for the people of God to get up and move on into the purpose of God. The Promise Land was still ahead of them. They'd gotten comfortable and complacent in the wilderness. It was going to cost them to keep moving forward. But you know what? They had to embrace the discomfort, embrace the unknown, embrace the uncertainty and step up. If you and I are going to do what God has called us to do, if we're going to be who God's called us to be, we've got to embrace the unknown. We've got to embrace the discomfort. We've got to embrace the uncertainty and step into the purposes of God. God's doing a new thing. It's a new day, it's a new era.
In Isaiah 43 verse 19, the Lord says: you can't keep doing the same old thing and expect a different result. Let me just say life has seasons and stages. Foe anything new to begin, something old has to end. For some of us it's time to let go of that thing and lay hold of the new thing that God is doing. You gotta unplug from some commitments. You've got to detach from certain things. Maybe some friendships have to end. Some activities have got to end. Some commitments have got to end. Their needs to be a shift in your life as you move up and into... Christine, it's going to be uncomfortable. I know. Christine, it's just going to be really really scary to step into all of that. I know. Christine, but I like this thing.
I know, but remember Lot's wife. Don't look back. It's time to let go and press on. Jesus says remember Lot's wife. It's a new season. I've got a new thing. It's going to be a better thing. It's going to be a more fulfilling thing, but you've got to let go of what you know in order to lay hold of what I've got for you. I've seen this in my organization this year, like many of you we've had to pivot. We've had to do things differently. Some of my own ministry is so different in this season. I mean, I used to travel 300 days a year.
Well, that didn't happen in 2020, did it? But you know what, I want to do the new thing that God's got for me. I want to reach into the new thing. I don't want to just say well, that's how I've been doing it for the last three decades. God, I want to do what you've gotta head for me. I want to lay hold of the purposes that you've got for me. I don't want to get stuck in a past paradigm. The way we're reaching people through A21, it's a new thing, it's a new way, it's a different way. The way we're reaching people at propel, it's a new thing. I haven't been able to have live events. In 2020. Well, I'm not going to sit and complain and just keep looking back.
Oh, I remember when. I would have missed all the people we had to reach this year if I wasn't prepared to restructure everything from systems and staffing and... if I wasn't prepared to do that, all I would be talking about is the propel events in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016. But instead I could talk about what the Lord did in 2020, what the Lord is going to do in 2021, what the Lord is going to do in 2022 because he says, behold I do a new thing. Christine, don't look back. Don't keep looking at what was, but keep looking forward and keep pressing on. You've got to let go of the old if you want to have the new. You've got to let go of the old. I had to let go of old paradigms.
You know, I'm enrolled in a grad school program at Wheaton program. And it's absolutely amazing. I'm studying with 20 other women in my cohort, and there are 4 propel cohorts. There's a bunch of us going through this together because I thought I don't want to get to my 50's and settle. I want to learn new things. Yes, I could sit back and go well, this is how I've been doing it for 30 years. This is how I've been reaching people. This is how I've been preaching. This is what I've been but I'm saying I want to do a new thing. I don't want to look back at just what God has done. I want to look forward to what God has ahead for me.
So how do you do that? You've got to drop some things. Let go of old securities. Let go of old attachments. Let go of old structures. It's not easy. You've got to let go to lay hold. Paul says this one thing I do, I press on. This one thing I do, I press on because I want to lay hold of all of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. This is not the end. Don't get stuck in 2020. Don't keep rehearsing 2020. This is not the end. This is not the finish. If you woke up today and there was not a white chalk Mark around your body, guess what? It means you're alive. It means God's got a plan and a purpose for you. If you got a pulse happening, God's got a purpose for your life.
The Lord says in 1 Samuel 16:1: he says how long are you going to mourn for Saul? My question to you today, how long are you going to keep mourning? How long are you going to keep going over and over and over the losses of 2020, the losses in your past, the failures, the pain, the offenses, the disappointments, the unforgivenness, the bitterness, the discouragement, the disillusion? How long? How long?
The Lord said to Samuel, how long are you going to mourn for Saul? At some point you gotta get up, you gotta fill your horn with oil. You've got to look to the future because I've anointed a new thing. I'm doing a new thing. It's a new day. I am the Lord. I have not stopped. How long will you mourn for Saul? Don't get stuck in this year. We're moving into a new year. It's time to move on. It's time to press on. It's time to lay hold of all of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of you.