God’s Perspective on Time Travel

5-30-13 time

As established in The Benefits of Time Travel, the kind of time travel we see in the movies or read about in books remains as of today, impossible. However, many people still spend much of their time dwelling in the past or focused on the future. And, unfortunately, they do so at the expense the present.

Isaiah 43:18-19 tells God’s perspective on time travel and gives specific instructions for making the most of the present.

“Do not [earnestly] 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? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (AMP)

These verses in Isaiah give five pieces of advice on how to balance our past, present and future.

  1. Don’t purposefully or intentionally give serious attention to the past. Earnestness involves purposefulness, intentionality and seriousness. Isaiah directs us to let memories surface and acknowledge them when they do, but avoid lingering in the past and certainly dwelling there on purpose.
  2. Make a point to observe God’s current activity. Isaiah says to “behold,” which means observe, regard, gaze upon, view; watch; discern. In other words, notice the “new thing” God promises to do. So often, we fail to see God’s current activity because of our focus on what happened or on what might happen.
  3. Identify and acknowledge what you observe. Start by observing God’s activity but move on to becoming aware of it to the point of naming it in a way that amplifies His presence. Acknowledging often forces action.
  4. Give careful attention to what He’s doing. Now comes committing because “giving heed” requires focus. No longer can our attention be divided. God’s activity now becomes the center of our thoughts as it gains our “careful attention.”
  5. Get ready to see the impossible happen. Once you see, acknowledge and focus on God’s activity, you gain a sense of direction of where He’s going. You may not know specific details, and His plans likely seem impossible. But never forget that God masterfully authors the impossible.

Time travel stories always express the dire importance of not altering any event in the past because doing so causes severe and unexpected consequences. Just think of yourself disappearing from photographs in your own time if you change the past when you time travel to understand this principle.

In reality, traveling through time in our thinking – dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future – also involves consequences. Namely, we miss out on being happy and doing good (Ecclesiastes 3:12) and on taking hold and making the most of opportunities presented to us (Ephesians 5:16).

Dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future takes our focus off God’s promises. Instead, let the past live as applied present lessons, and allow the future to exist as today’s motivation. Focus on God’s plan for the present and the role He wants you to play as you move toward eternity with Him.

DISCUSSION: What else does the Bible say about God’s view of time that helps us understand how we should view time?

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17 thoughts on “God’s Perspective on Time Travel

  1. Good thoughts Kari. Other views? I would go to James where it talks about life being a vapor. We have somehow convinced ourselves we have plenty of time and there is no need to move or get things done. We are not promised tomorrow. Oh, one other thing: I do agree we spend too much time on the past (regret) and too much on the future (dreaming).

    • Thanks! The James reference is a good one, and you mentioning it actually gives me direction for a series I am starting next week. I hadn't connected this week's post with that series, but the James reference did for some reason. I am amazed at how when we spend time focusing on what God is doing right now, the past and the future become encouragement and motivation instead of distractions.

  2. "let the past live as applied present lessons, and allow the future to exist as today’s motivation." Great words here Kari that you said. I do think the Bible tells us to consider often as well what God has done for us and ours from days gone by. In regard to the future I we are told in Matthew 6 to not worry about the future as well as being instructed to count the cost in regard to things we are considering doing. Both should help us to live today to it''s fullest.

    • You're right, we have instruction or examples throughout the Bible to consider what God has done and what He is doing. Matthew 6 provides such good wisdom for being good stewards of our time. Living today to the fullest is the goal, and we can't do that when we dwell on the past or constantly focus on just the future all by itself.

  3. Philippians 3 says "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead." It's clear where are focus should be. Though often we can get held up on our past that it causes us to move forward. Great thoughts Kari!!!

  4. I caught your word amplify in your comments..great thoughts. The Psalms remind us that God knew us before we were born and will be with us when we are old. Jeremiah tells us God has a plan and a purpose. Living today, one moment at a time, accepting it as a gift, a present, to be opened and enjoyed helps keep focus on the now. Proverbs 3 remnds us to "trust in the Lord and He will direct our paths". So while looking back is important in seeing what God has done, to remind us He will bring us through today's struggles is important, worry causes wearieness and robs us of the joy of this day. I hope this makes sense. A long day out here on the road. Hoping all stay safe in the storms, and trusting God is with us.

    • Worry definitely causes us weariness & robs us of joy. Trying to teach my kids & set the example of that. God even gives us the ability to focus on the present. He is SO good.

  5. I love your points, Kari. I've been trying out the second one, thanking God for different things about life and even myself since I have a tendency to focus on my imperfections. It's been making a difference!

    • So glad that this has helped you, Barb. Isn't it amazing what thankfulness can do for our perspective? Must be why there are so many Bible verses telling us to be thankful.

  6. How about today has enough trouble of its own? Lately I have been living in fear of the future. Your post really helped me, Kari. I love "Get ready to see the impossible happen." I need that encouragement.

    • That's definitely a good one too! I have been living in fear of the future in one area of my life too, Melanie. And for some reason, until you wrote your comment, I didn't apply the "Get ready to see the impossible happen" to this situation until just now. My biggest are of fear is with my kids… but God has them in the palm of his hands, and I am so thankful for that! So glad you are encouraged today, my friend. Satan is at work creating discouragement in our lives, but God's word is far greater and more powerful, and that is where we need to focus.

      • Amen to that! I am just coming out of a time when I felt like the future was hopeless for one of my kids. But God seems to have done the impossible! Now I just need to believe Him for that for me. Keep praying for those kids. God loves them more than you do and His Word doesn't return to Him void.

        • A friend of mine keeps telling me, "We simply cannot parent out of fear," and I am learning how to apply this truth to my life. Trusting them to God is the best way to remove fear from my parenting. Simple, yes. Easy, no!

  7. When I think about God's view on time travel, I think of extreme time travel – as in eternity. So often I get bogged down with my daily stresses and concerns, and I have to remind myself: "What will I care about in 1 million years?" That helps me to recenter my thinking.

    • Great perspective, Loren! Eternity will be the ultimate travel to time. Imagine how we'll think – or not think – about time then! Okay, so here's an "out there" though for you. One reason I am fascinated by stories of elves in books/movies like LOTR and Eragon is the idea of being immortal. I just think it gives a sort of glimpse of eternity, and that fascinates me to think about. Not dwell there, of course, but…

  8. Pingback: Defining Idleness & Laziness | Struggle to Victory

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