Was it really 31 years ago when Arnold first uttered the iconic phrase “I’ll be back” in the first Terminator series?
And after that, I think he said it in one form or another in just about every other movie he made.
And Arnold—and two other versions of himself—are definitely back in Terminator: Genesys.
Why the inexplicable alternate of “Genesis”? Perhaps it is a combination of “genetic” and “synthesis”? Or maybe they just wanted some eye-catching window “dressing” for that word salad?
Either way, fans of the franchise should have fun with this rebooted and seriously re-imagined fifth installment of arguably Arnold’s best role as a lethal slab of granite who (also inexplicably) is forever burdened with an Austrian accent—even though he is an android!
And while you shouldn’t expect moving Shakespearean performances from this cinematic thrill ride, it does a decent job of providing some cortex tickling time travel tribulations that leave you with the haunting question of “what if I could go back in time and change things?”
In the movie, Kyle Reese goes back in time to save Sarah Connor because she will give birth to the guy who can bring down the eeeeevil Skynet. When I saw this same movie in its 1984 version, Sarah Connor was just a helpless waitress, but now she comes equipped with some serious ninja skills and her own Terminator that she calls “Pops”!
So. Um. Yeah.
Anyway, the bottom line is that the characters frantically run around trying to make sense of who they are, what they’re doing and what will or won’t happen as a result—which can be a very emotionally taxing and stressful lifestyle—wouldn’t you agree?
But how many of us—like the crew in Terminator—pretty much live our lives the same way?
We may not have liquid metal T-1000 robots hunting us down, but we do have painful memories and hearts full of regret that haunt us like assassins from the past, and we wish we could go back and change things in order to possibly save the future—right?
But God has a very different perspective, and here is His counsel to us:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV).
Interesting that God would say “forget” instead of “deal with” or “reflect on” — right? So many times our heads are stuck in the past, wishing we could transport back and change the timeline we are currently living in.
But unless someone actually invents a time machine, dwelling on the past is like trying to drive with your foot on the brake and your eyes on the rear-view mirror!
So that’s why God simply directs us to “forget,” because if you are stalling out your life with regret and wishful thinking, you’ll never be able to see that He is doing a “new thing.”
And what is that “new thing”?
He is “making a way in the wilderness”—or in other words, He is clearing a beautiful path for your future through all the entanglements of your worry and doubt.
He is providing “streams in the wasteland”—that is, He will refresh the dry and dusty places in your spirit that have been created by your past.
In a very real way, what happened yesterday is just like something that happened 10, 100, or 1000 years ago! It’s gone, it’s finished, and it’s vanished. God wants you to take your foot off the brake and keep your eyes out of the rear-view mirror, so you can hit the gas and trust that He has paved an amazing road for you in the future.
But be warned—when you forget the past and start driving into the future, you will start to worry about the hills you see ahead and the possible obstacles in your path. When that happens, hear the voice of God saying, “Don’t worry—I’ve got this. I have plans and resources that you don’t even know about!”
So the next time you find yourself dwelling in that distant country called “the past,” remember that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you can echo His words on the cross:
It. Is. Finished.
Jesus’ blood has terminated your past, so hit the gas and travel joyfully into the future God has for you! And when you feel nervous—remember it was actually Jesus who first said “I’ll be back” over 2000 years ago!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, pay attention to how often you are paying attention to your past. When that happens, remember God’s command to us to “forget the past,” and pay attention to what He is doing in the present!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, You are the One who sent your Son to redeem our past and provide for our future. Help us to forget the past and see the ways you are making paths in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
Read: Philippians 3:13-14. 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, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Get: Reckless…Following Jesus to the Point of No Return. Check out Zane Black’s latest book, Reckless, and explore the epic and sometimes risky adventure of following Jesus! Jesus went all in for you. Are you ready to go all in for Him and embrace the future God has for you?
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Ever wish you could change something in your past? There may not be something for that, BUT there is hope for a renewed future! Check out this week’s devo : http://hubs.ly/y0XsRM0”
Big Idea: God is the terminator of our past, so we can live in the future.
Key Scripture: Isaiah 43:18-19
- What is in your rear-view mirror?
- Do you sometimes have your foot on the brake? Why or why not?
- How has God made paths in your wilderness and streams in your desert?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?