As we come to Jesus and begin to understand who we are in Him, it is time to learn from our past, put it behind, and move on ahead. Paul makes it clear in today’s scripture that he is on a journey. He knows he is not perfect, but he determines to forget what used to motivate him … to forget his past achievements. He reaches forward … to become all Jesus wants him to be. He is moving in the right direction, toward Jesus … and he is not turning back.
That’s where we need to be too, on a journey toward Jesus, to accomplish His purpose for us. In the verse for today, Paul talks about forgetting, but what does he really mean? He is not talking about having amnesia about the past. Some Christians will tell you, “You are a new creation, don’t look at your past, only look forward.”
Now, listen closely as this is a very important point. It seems clear and silly when I say it, but it is a powerful point with many ramifications that clarify the process of journeying for the prize. When we accepted Christ as our personal savior, we didn’t get a brain transplant. If we were totally transformed at that point of salvation, we would never have sinned again. How sad, that as believers, we do still sin. So there must be something we have to do to allow the Holy Spirit to complete His task job in us.
In order to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, one thing we need to do is look at how our past adversely influences present decision-making. We need to forget the old motivations, goals, and pursuits we once had … and stop conforming to the world’s system.
Our past is what God allowed in our lives so we would draw close to Him. Another outcome is to prepare us for the good works He has planned for us. Many items from life prior to my commitment to Christ are used by God in my ministry to others. This is what God intended. Forgetting my past would cause me to miss opportunities to turn what Satan intended for bad into something God can use for His glory.
But when we look at our past, we do need to process it with a very specific focus on Jesus and God’s plans and goals. That will transform the lenses so we can take every thought captive and allow God to come in to those old areas of hurt. Then healing can occur … and truth will replace the ripples of distortion that Satan wants fogging our lenses.
Today, don’t ruminate about the past, but don’t ignore it as if you had a brain transplant. Your past is affecting your decisions now, so examine your decisions today to understand how your past affects them. This will show you what is at the center of your heart. Your past will reveal why, in certain situations, other things are at the center of your heart, instead of God. WITHIN REACH is our curriculum that helps you examine and understand your decision-making process, and become a Godly decision-maker.
Dear God, Thank You for Your healing and forgiveness. Help me to use my past hurts for my growth. Do not allow them to interfere with the growth You have for me. Show me how to keep my eyes on Jesus as I move forward along the path You have for me. Help me to practice this skill regularly. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who has made everything right, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.