Should We Look Back in Order to Move Forward?
There are four concepts, embodied in four biblical words that are helpful in fulfilling our purpose and destiny. These concepts apply to both individuals and nations. Understanding them will help you greatly as you navigate around roadblocks, detours, setbacks, and delays.
The first of them is prooizo. The root word, horizo, means to mark out a boundary, the farthest reaches of a territory. You can easily see the English word horizon in this Greek word. The horizon is the farthest point visible in the distance. The prefix “pro” is the equivalent of “pre” in English, indicating something is being done “in advance” or” ahead of time.” When proorizo is used in scripture it indicates that God has determined our destinies, our futures, the boundaries and horizons of our lives...in advance!
This is often the word translated as ”predestine” in Scripture. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren,” (Romans 8:29). The fact we have been pre-destined by God does not mean we have no choice or free will - that everything which happens to us was pre-planned by Him. It simply means God has a pre-planned destiny for us. Our responsibility is to make the right decisions in order to accomplish that destiny.
The second word is proetoimazo, which means to fit or measure in advance, much like a tailor or seamstress would do when making clothing for an individual. The word is used in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them,” (NASB).
This verse is actually saying God “measured” or “fitted” us in advance for the works He intended us to do. Knowing the plans He had for us, our Creator knew the gifts, personalities, abilities, etc. we would need in order to accomplish them. As He wove us in our mother’s womb He worked those traits into our minds and bodies. We have everything we need to accomplish all God purposed for us.
The third word is prothesis. This Greek word is the origin of our English word “thesis.” A thesis explains the plan, purpose, intent, or operation of something. The word is often translated “purpose” in the New Testament: “[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,” (2 Timothy 1:9; NASB).
God wrote a plan, purpose, and intention for our lives before we were ever born (see also Psalm 139:13-16). Again, this does not remove from us the power of choice or free will but means there is a pre-planned purpose God wrote for us. We must draw near to Him, allowing Holy Spirit to steer us in the right directions and give us the needed training to accomplish this purpose.
The fourth word, a Hebrew word for “destiny,” gives an added and important dimension of understanding. Achariyth, is used in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future (achariyth) and a hope.”
Interestingly, that which is behind and that which is ahead comes from the same Hebrew word. The explanation for this is that Hebrews pictured a person moving toward her or his future as one rowing a boat: they back into their future.
Listen carefully. The best way to propel a rowboat is to do so with your back toward the direction in which you’re heading. As you row backward, which is actually forward, you cannot stay on course if your head is continually turned to look behind you. The angle of your body will cause you to angle the boat. The key is to find a reference point in the direction you are facing and align it with your destination behind you. Then you can row toward your destination without constantly turning your head around to look behind you. To state this another way, your reference point is in the past, where you have already been, behind you. You are using your past to reach your future.
The spiritual meaning is that we move forward, in part, by keeping ourselves reminded of what God has done, shown us, or told us in the past. Our faith is anchored in this, starting with His word. We cannot see all of the future, but we can see His promises. We can hold fast to and align ourselves with what He has said. We are “rowing” by faith.
It is no revelation that God does not share all the details of our future with us. He demands that we walk by faith as we pursue our purpose and destiny. When we experience challenges, obstacles, detours, and even failures, we must keep our focus on His word and past faithfulness, knowing if we do so, He will keep us on course.
Obviously, these four truths and principles are pertinent for us individually. However, they are true for nations, as well. In fact, the plans and destiny spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11 were for the nation of Israel.
Acts 17:26 also tells us that He appoints the boundaries and destinies of nations: “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” The word “appointed” in this verse is protasso, which means “a specific command for a specific purpose.” God commanded the times and places of nations and He did so for specific purposes.
America has gotten off course. Forgetting what God has said, we have attempted to find our future without yesterday’s reference point. God has said that He is correcting this. We must continue to agree with Him, not our present circumstances and failures. We must persevere in releasing our faith for a complete restoration, standing on the promises He has given us.
Keep rowing, both for yourself…and for our nation!
Pray with me:
Father, as we row toward the good future You spoke of in Jeremiah 29:11, we face many obstacles. And yes, at times, we take our eyes off of Your words and promises. This causes us to row off course; sometimes we even row in circles! However, in Your mercy and patience, You are offering to get us back on course. You are faithful to correct our mistakes and shortcomings.
America has gotten off course. We have become so disoriented that we are rowing away from our destiny. But You are restoring us. You are restoring us to the old road Jeremiah spoke of (Jeremiah 6:16). You have said, “America shall be saved.”
We believe this. We are focused on it. We, the Ekklesia, are looking back at the reference point of Cape Henry and other important benchmarks in our history. We have locked our gaze upon them and our intercession and decrees are now aligned with Your purposes. As our prayers have gotten back on course, You will now use them to turn America back toward her destiny. We stake our claim to this through the power, blood, sacrifice, and authority of Jesus, amen.
We decree that the destiny God wrote for America will be accomplished!
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