Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
The past isn’t always easy to forget. Whether it’s a success or failure, the past can take hold of our minds in the present day. Bitterness or dreaming of days gone by are mostly caused by looking and focusing on the past. Some of us have wrestled with words spoken to us by another who may not have intended to harm, but we may have misjudged their original intent and kept harmful words attacking our looks, talk, and acceptance.
Do you have words or events from the past that have defined some personal self-evaluation causing you to withdraw from a Biblical Truth or restrict your confidence in yourself? Most of us have these past issues.
Today, this scripture is a turning point to free us from past bondage and refocus toward the now and future. Easy to say, hard to do.
Forgetting what is behind
“When Paul says that he forgets what lies behind, he refers to a forgetting which is no mere passing effort; it is active obliteration so that when any harmful thought of the past would occur, it would be banished from our mind. It is a constant, deliberate discarding of any harmful thought of the past. Forgetting is stronger in Greek. It means to ‘completely forget.’ To translate Pauls words, “I, in fact, am forgetting completely the things that are behind.”
F.B. Meyer wrote, “learn to forget and do not dwell upon past sin.” He explained, “There may be things in our past of which we are ashamed, that might haunt us. But if we have handed them over to God in confession and faith, He has put them away and forgotten them.” “So you forget them and the sin which blackened your record and reach forward to realize the beauty of Jesus.”
“Forgetting” is a present, active word
Forgetting is not a one time task. It is part of putting on the whole armor of God including the Helmet of Salvation (mind), the shield of faith (against the devil’s attacks about the past), and the sword of the spirit (the power you have through the Holy Spirit to rebuke the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-17
Moving forward in faith
Straining or reaching forward should be the healthy focus of all Christians. You cannot change the past, but the future is wide open for you. What are you striving for? Where in the future do you feel God is taking you? There are five characteristics of forward-moving Christians.
- They know where they are going.
- They have a sense of God’s call on their life.
- They understand the purpose of their life.
- They focus on God and God-given goals.
- They choose wisely from their options to move toward their goal.
Do you know Christ as your savior? If not, you are missing out on the blessings of His forgiveness and peace. You are also missing out on the help of the Holy Spirit to help guide your path. Most important, when you die, you will be missing heaven and be lost in torment without God forever.
Today, right now is the time to decide you are moving forward with Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. It all starts by calling out to Jesus and asking Him to be your savior. Tell Him you have sinned, and you want to repent. Tell Jesus you believe He is the Son of God who has died for you. Ask Him to come into your life right now. Tell Jesus you will follow Him for the rest of your life. If you prayed this prayer, I know you are feeling a new peace in your heart. You have a new lightnside to light your path. The next step forward is to find a church with good worship and strong preaching.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Part of this blog comes from the book ‘Loving God with all your mind’ – Elizabeth George