“The LORD said to Moses, Tell Aaron that when he sets up the seven lamps in the lampstand, he is to place them so their light shines forward.’” Numbers 8:1-2 (NLT) 

I was struck by this detailed instruction to Aaron to set up the seven lamps so that their light would shine forward. Duh! It’s not like we want to see backwards, right? And it struck me. Last week I did some journaling about looking backwards and the negative impact that can have on my life. I don’t want to be a backward-looking person. Who’s the “Duh” now? I guess it’s me sometimes? We’re to place our lamps so that they shine forward, lighting our path, directing our vision forward, not backward. 

Jesus said “The eye is the lamp of the body…” (Matthew 6:22)

Let your eyes shine forward, not backwards. Comand your mind to set your eyes to shine their light forward. A little retrospective is a good thing – evaluating one’s behavior and performance for improvement is a good thing. But once the moment of evaluation has passed (notice I used the word “moment”) your forward shining lamp will leave that event in darkness and your focus should be where the light is shining – into the future that God has for you. 

Paul put it a different way: “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Philippians 3:13-14 

We are called upward, not backward. We’re called to look to Christ, not to look at our past failures and successes (both can trap us). It is this upward/forward looking that gives us hope. It is this upward/forward looking from “whence my help comes” (Psalms 121:1-2, KJV) 

A search on the phrase “look forward” in my New Living Translation of the Bible, found 25 uses of it, all in the New Testament. We are to be a forward-looking people, keeping our eyes on the One who holds the future in His hands and who has laid out that future in a way that we cannot even begin to imagine. So I feel compelled like David to speak to my own soul at times: “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God” (Psalms 42 and 43, NIV) 

Friends, let me encourage you to set your lamp so that it shines forward. Look into the future God has for you. It’s better than you can begin to imagine.

4 Responses to “Set Your Lamps so the Light Shines Forward”
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