The Importance of Remembering Where You Started

I like driving. My wife would love to have a chauffeur. Together we make a perfect pair. I drive and she tells me where to go. Every once in a while we’ll be driving down the road and I’ll forget where we were headed. “Where are we going?” I’ll ask.

It doesn’t always hit me right away. I suddenly  realize my autopilot has kicked because my brain has drifted elsewhere. If I’m lucky I will figure it out in time to get there without any trouble. Other times I have to pull into a parking lot or driveway to turn around so I can get back to the place I was supposed to go.

A dangerous road to forget where you’re going is the Narrow Road of the Christian life. This special road with fewer travelers on it leads to the eternal life promised to us as we believe in Jesus. But it isn’t enough to keep our eyes on the destination ahead of us. There is another point in the journey that Scripture encourages us to remember and hold on to until we reach the end.

Thanks to smartphones, social media apps and the desire to get up and go, people are taking more pictures than ever. Selfies are all the rage, though some people never seem to turn their cameras away from themselves. Still, they make great reminders of people or places we have encountered along life’s journey.

Maybe it was your first trip to Disney World or you bumped into a famous actor on the street. Everything stopped for just a moment so you could carve that scene in stone with your phone. Now you can share it, make it your lock screen wallpaper, or print it as large as a poster. Whatever you plan to do with it, you’ve got it safely recorded.

We’ve heard about being careful not to be so heavenly minded that we aren’t any earthly good. We also have to be careful not to look so intently on the road we are on that we forget we got us there.

As we live the journey from yesterday to the day we cross into eternity, we find ourselves taking note of the interesting encounters of today as we look forward to the eternal life waiting for us. Sometimes, though, we forget why we got on the road in the first place. And when we forget why we stepped onto the Narrow Road, it won’t be long before we step off of it.

[tweetthis]When we forget why we stepped onto the Narrow Road, it won’t be long before we step off of it.[/tweetthis]

Just like we would take a photo of an interesting roadside attraction or special gathering of people, we need to find a way to remember the reason we started our journey in Jesus Christ. Though many would prefer to forget the condition they were in when they first found Christ, the Bible tells us to hold onto it, remember it often, and never let it go.

For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:14 ESV)

The word translated here as “confidence” is translated in other versions as conviction, sure faith, and trust. But it actually means to “stand under”, or to serve as a foundation. Scripture is telling us to hold on to the original foundation of our faith in Jesus, from the beginning of the journey until we reach its end.

The foundation of our journey is unique to each of us. It is the need that drove us to faith in Jesus. Maybe we were broken, lost or searching, or simply overcome with conviction for sin. What made you choose to step onto the Narrow Road? Where was your life when the Gospel finally compelled you to cry out to Jesus? That is the one point on this journey you must always remember.

Rejoice in the forgiveness you found. Stand assured that God has separated you from them as far as the East is from the West. Celebrate the new life you found in Jesus Christ, as you were formed into a new creation, born again, not just cleaned up.

Too often we choose forget who or what we were. We want to move ahead without looking back. But we need to remember our need, remember the foundation of our journey in Jesus Christ. Though we could look forward to all that waits for us, we are in danger of missing it all if we forget how much we need it.

In one of his letters, Paul confessed to being the “chief” or “worst” of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). In another place he wrote about how he was able to stand tall as a Jew and keeper of the Law more than anyone else, yet he chose not to boast in any of his former accomplishments. Instead he remembered only his failures, his need for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Paul understood how dependence on Jesus Christ is not just for the start of our journey, but the foundation of every day. When we fail to remember our foundation, that understanding of our need for Jesus, we find ourselves relying on Him less and less. Now it’s about who and what we are, instead of living in Who Jesus is and what He alone can give to us. If we forget why we first needed Jesus, we’re in danger of believing we don’t need Him at all.

[tweetthis]If we forget why we first needed Jesus, we’re in danger of believing we don’t need Him at all.[/tweetthis]

So the writer of Hebrews tells us to hold on to the foundation. We must find ways to remember. Like taking a picture and sticking it to your mirror, or hanging something special from your rear view mirror, find a way to keep your need for Jesus fresh in your memory. Don’t forget the starting line as you continue towards the end.

These thoughts are part of a message I recently shared at our church.
Click here to listen to the entire message.