We all have moments in life when we look back on our past with fondness and appreciate all that God has done in our lives.
But sometimes we fall into the trap of staying stuck in the past – almost longing for things to return to “the way they were” – and ignoring our present reality.
And as believers – there is a danger of getting sucked into nostalgia. Here is how you can guard your mind and heart against falling into this subtle trap.
It starts off innocent enough – looking at old photographs or reminiscing with a friend about the “good ol’ days.”
While it’s good to recall fond memories – we must be vigilant to not get stuck in longing for the past, or else we could miss what God is doing now.
The enemy is always working to leave us dissatisfied – either longing for the golden days – or anxious about the future. Both of these scenarios cause us to lose focus on the present moment and ignore what God is doing in our lives.
And remember – God is always at work doing way more than we can ever comprehend.
However if we are stuck in the past – we could miss what He is doing as our focus is off of Him – and instead on a period of time that no longer exists.
Remember the Israelites?
They were rescued from slavery – and God provided them with enough manna for each new day as they traveled through the wilderness – yet they had “forgotten” what their brutal past was like and longed to go back to when they knew what to expect.
Next thing we know – they are worshiping a golden calf to “recreate the past”!
But that’s exactly how sin works – it’s a deception that causes us to forget.
As Christianity Today stated:
“Unbridled nostalgia causes us to cling to the golden calf that reminds us of the past rather than recognize the pillars of cloud and fire guiding us through our uncertain present.
As the Psalmist reminds us about idols: “They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.” The passage closes with a warning: “Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Ps. 135:15-18).
Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of salt because she looked back on Sodom (Gen. 19:26). She became as inert and fixed in time as the imagined past she longed for.
Spiritually speaking, we risk the same fate when we idolize a misremembered past.”
If you struggle with staying in the present moment – you are not alone!
And take time each morning to thank God for who He is – and for the blessing of another day.
The secret to combatting nostalgia is to stay present in the moment – this is where God is – and remember He is always working!
Do you struggle with the subtle sin of “longing” for the good ol’ days?
What are some ways you try to stay present in the moment?
You can post your answers on our Facebook page and see what others are thankful for too.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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