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The discipline of economics teaches us to ignore the past, consider the present, and proactively embrace the future. Previous costs, which cannot be recovered (sunk costs), are irrelevant to current decisions.
According to economists, current decisions should be based on where we are now and what we expect in the future.
Typical supply and demand models, popular among economists, use this concept. Current prices, costs, capacities and technologies, as well as expectations regarding future product prices, profitability and
economic conditions are contained in the supply curve. Current prices, tastes of consumers, consumer preferences and incomes are combined with expectations of future prices, incomes and economic
conditions in the demand curve. The union of supply and demand determines the price.
In a capitalistic economic system, price summarizes the current conditions and expectations of all participating consumers and producers. With unusually frigid weather, the price of energy will
automatically move higher to ration supplies which have become scarcer. Higher interest rates will cause the economy to slow automatically. If consumers perceive a greater chance of losing their job, they will
cut expenses today, which will cause lower prices. A capitalistic system will guide the economy automatically as individual consumers and producers express their preferences in the marketplace.
In the kingdom of God, the Lord tells us to not look back, to take any concerns about the present to Him and to embrace the future with His assurances and power. Unlike the discipline of economics, the Lord is
concerned about all our needs and desires, will ensure that all things work for our good, and has sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter.
After the death of Moses, the Lord told Joshua that Moses was dead and to go cross the Jordan. The nation of Israel had just spent a period of 30 days weeping and mourning for Moses. Why did the Lord
feel it necessary to remind Joshua of a fact that he obviously knew? The Lord was telling Joshua to not look to the past, to move forward. Similarly, we need to quit looking at the past and to move forward to
“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel,” (Josh. 1:2, NASB).
The Lord assured Joshua that no person could defeat him, that the Lord would be with him as He had been with Moses and that the Lord would not fail or forsake him. Similarly, the Lord has equipped us to
do all to that we have been called to accomplish. We serve a supernatural God and are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We have the infallible Word. He lives inside of us. He will not disappoint.
“No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you,” (Josh. 1:5, NASB).
From Joshua 1:6-9, the Lord told Joshua to “be strong and courageous” three times. The first time, He indicated that if He were strong and courageous, that they would possess the land. The second time, He
indicated that if He were strong and courageous and if he followed the law, he would have success wherever he went. The third time He indicated that if he were strong and courageous, confessed,
meditated and followed the word that his way would be made prosperous, and he would have great success.
For us to reach our promised land where promises are fulfilled, the Lord is magnified, and we have a life of enduring significance, we need to follow Joshua’s example. Specifically, we need to:
•be strong and courageous
•meditate on, confess and obey the Word
Joshua was successful. Some of Joshua’s last words to Israel were to proclaim that not a single Word of the Lord had failed. God is no respecter of persons, what He did for Joshua, He will do for us. Let us
move forward, always forward.
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of
the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 3:13-14, NASB).
James R. Russell, Ph.D. is Senior Professor of Economics at Oral Roberts University.