Yes, at times, it’s good to look back and see how far God has brought you compared to where you used to be. But it’s best to forget where you came from in the sense that you don’t miss the “good ol’ days” of your sinful, God-forsaken past (if you had one) and you have no desire whatsoever to return to them because you are now so focused on pleasing the Lord and looking forward to what he has for you in the future. When God delivered Israel out of Egypt by his miracles because of his love and mercy, several times as they proceeded toward the Promised Land they ended up longing for the “good ol’ days” (which weren’t really good) in Egypt when they were under cruel taskmasters, simply because they hit a few bumps in the road along the way. Their desires came from a spirit of ingratitude.

Tribal face painting (picture used under Creative Commons license from guity-novin @ blogspot)In our times, we see this happening quite a bit due in part to some people getting caught up in a type of ancestor worship, attempting to hold on to ancient cultures they may have come from or that influence them because they have become disillusioned and disappointed by the false hopes they placed in this postmodern world. So you may see people, for example, of African descent, Brazilians, other Latin American and Native American cultures, Asians, Arabs, Europeans, etc., wishing to honor their ancestors by holding on to or reviving religions and cultures of the past when it was those religions and cultures that weakened and/or led to the destruction of great empires their ancestors were part of. They conveniently forget that their indigenous ancestors of whatever culture enslaved one another, sacrificed each other on pagan altars, pimped each other out to be temple prostitutes (both male and female), placed witchcraft/demonic curses on each other using drugs and poisons, and many other heinous acts. Many have praised the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek cultures when those cultures were full of perverts. Yet somehow they deceive themselves into believing ancient practices made those ancient cultures great.

These examples show why God has been so adamant about stressing that a relationship with him transcends, is superior to, and is more important than one’s ethnic culture, no matter what skin color we have. He has always wanted his people to lay aside and forget their pagan past to focus on his heavenly desires and realities, such as when he or his spokesmen pointed out the following:

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. Joshua 24:14

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. …Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. Psalm 91:1-2, 14-15

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us … hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:4-6

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 1 Peter 5:5-6

Harry A. Gaylord

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