When we gaze at something, our eyes are showing the mind the possibilities of perceiving before making a decision. Where ever the eyes lead, the mind will make a decision. When we perceive with a heart that is pure before God, then all will end up in the right direction. To look “right on, let your gaze be straight” indicates perception without wavering. Where we direct our attention to, will be the direction the eyes will take us. Solomon said, Consider well the path of your feet. Watch what you look at before you gaze at something. Let your eyes shine light that will lead you to the right path, where you can be established and away from evil. The idea of looking back leads only to disaster. YAHSHUA said No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God. The eye that focus on the past sheds little light for the future, because Its light is clouded with past experience; it is like fog preventing one from going forward. Lot’s wife was turned into a statue of salt when she looked back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra. She turned into what those cities became.
To look back at the pleasures of the past, and let it be the normal of one’s life is like been confined to a wheel chair. There is not much to gain from looking back with the exception of learning a lesson, if we want to be successful. The Lord told Israel, Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? (Isaiah 43:18-19b). When we walk looking back, we lose sight of what the Lord has for us. Many of us live a life satisfied with the accomplishments of yesterday, having nothing to show forth for the rest of his life. His present is just a summary of the past experiences. Their lives are an empty and purposeless lives, for not knowing that our days on earth have been loaned to us for the purpose of accomplishing God’s will until our final breath.
When the Israelites wandered through the desert, as they were on their way to the land God had promised their father, Abraham many years past, they turned their gaze on Egypt, which is a picture of the world and all that it represents. That resulted in their murmurings against God. They missed Egypt, where they were mistreated; where they were slaves to the full extent of sufferings. But because of their looking back, they forgot what God’s purpose was to free them from the bondage of Egypt. Instead, they sinned against God and many of them died in the wilderness without seeing the Promised Land. They did not enter God’s resting place. They kept looking back, because their hearts were hardened to God’s purpose and unwilling to follow Him. That’s what looking back will do for anyone today, who calls himself a believer in YAHSHUA. When we keep looking back, our spiritual eyes become dim; their focus loses depth of perception and we no longer can see clearly.
Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, (said the Lord) they shall not enter into My rest (Heb. 3:11). Looking back is one way to test our Lord. Like the Israelites did. God’s response to Israel’s rebellion was “they shall not enter into My rest.” The same can happen to Christians who do not follow the Lord to execute His will. When someone told the Lord YAHSHUA that he was willing to follow Him, but only if he would first say goodbye to those at his home, His reply was, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:61-62). The excuses that cause us to look back without being able to follow the Lord are hindrances to our spiritual vision, as fog is to the physical eyes. The remedy for that we find in Hebrews chapter 12:1-2: Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance and that sin which so readily clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to YAHSHUA, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith and is also its Finisher, He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Only by looking forward to YAHSHUA, will we succeed in our journey to the Promised Land. Yes, we will be fit to enter the presence of God and be welcomed by Him. God has not called us to wander through this earth without direction and purpose. He has been mindful of us before we were born; even when we were yet being formed in the womb. The Psalmist David said in Psalm 139:16b that in God’s book all the days of our life was written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. He was not only forming us, but planning our future. Our destiny has been written in His book. The past is not to be lived on and on for as long as we live, otherwise the future, which God planned for us and it is written in His book will not be fulfilled.
No one will be able to drive a car looking at the rear mirror. Only, of course the self-driving cars. When we turn on the car, we are determined to take control of our destination looking forward, looking to the sides only when we desire to change lanes or pass the car in front of us. Life has a destiny; others are depending on us. When we fail to follow what God purposed for us, others may suffer or go lacking, while we continue looking back at our comfortable zone of the past. This seems to me a way to avoid the challenges of life; allowing them to go unchecked and unresolved. YAHSHUA however, wants us to follow the direction He gave for us to have a successful spiritual life: (1) Deny self (2) take up the cross (3) follow Him. If we cannot deny self, because our gaze is on the past, then we cannot take up our cross neither follow Him. Sadly, this will result in an unfulfilled earthly life. YAHSHUA had this to say concerning such life: I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you (Matt. 25:12b)!
Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you; consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright; turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil (Prov. 4:25-27).