…But, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…(Philippians 3:13 KJV)
Sometimes, forgetting our “past” is the hardest and most difficult challenge we can face. Why? Because, our past defines us. It is who we “are.” Who we “were.” Our past experiences and past choices are what made us who we are today…When we “forget” those things behind us, we are actually choosing to forget who we are and who we were. We’re choosing to forget the things that once defined our character, make-up, and very existence. Who wants to forget themselves? After all, we are who we are, and if we forget who we are how can we know who we will be or one day become?
Yet; that is exactly what God is asking of us…To forget who we were, who we are, and who we are to become. He wants to make us anew; over again. Like many Christians, I wrestled with this reality in my own life. I would sometimes “look back” at who I was, and the choices I had made, thinking that was the authentic, “real” me. And, in actuality at that specific time, it was the real me. But, that doesn’t mean that the “old” real me still has to dominate or influence the “new” real me in Christ! Sure, I had “old” dreams, “old” desires, and “old” friends who crossed my path and had influence over my life…But, when I gave my life to Christ many of those “old” things I had to “forget,” and reach forth unto the “new” things God had planned and purposed in my life; according to His will.
Oh, how I hate Satan and how he tries to bring up the past or mix the past with the present…We have to be wise to forget the past and not mix the old with the new! We can all have memories that creep into our lives reminding us of the “old” self…But, the Apostle Paul encouraged us to “forget those things behind” and press forward unto our new calling in Christ Jesus. In other words, we all have a past, good or bad, to put behind us in order to press forward in our new walk in Christ Jesus.
Think of the Apostle Paul’s past. As Saul of Tarsus, he was highly educated, wealthy, highly esteemed among his peers, a scholar’s scholar in all manners and matters of religious doctrine…The “go to” guy and guru of the Old Testament Law. If you had a question about the Old Testament Laws, he had the answer. So, in his steadfast zeal he set out to get rid of those pesky new followers of Christ never knowing that he would one day write 2/3’s of the New Testament of Grace! From town to town he marched onward dragging out Christian men, women, and children alike sending them to their slaughter of death…Until the day GOD’s LIGHT knocked him off of his horse and he landed flat on his face in the dirt crying, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?” Notice, that the Great Saul of Tarsus did not say, “God, do you know who I am? I am highly educated, wealthy, highly esteemed among my brethren, and fluent in Old Testament Law.” No, no, no. Saul knew immediately that he was “nothing” and had nothing in his present life or past life to compare to the true God of the Universe! I love his response, “What will THOU have me to do?”
From that moment on, God changed Saul’s name to Paul who would become, in his own words, “the chief among sinners.” Talk about forgetting your impressive resume’…Paul’s new resume’ stated, “Forgetting those things behind and pressing forward in the name of Jesus!” That’s all the resume’ he needed. And, in all reality, that’s all the resume’ any Christian needs…”Forgetting the past and pressing forward in the name of Jesus.”
Today, you may be struggling with things in your past; whether they be of good or bad it makes no difference unto God. For when He touches our life ALL things become NEW…We start and begin a new walk, a new life, a new direction, a new desire, a new “want.” We want to please our Heavenly Father more than anything or anyone else. Don’t let Satan rob you of Peace and JOY by bringing up your past life’s experiences…Be satisfied and content in knowing that Jesus died on the Cross to give you life and life anew in His service…You are a new creature in Christ…Amen.
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author