One of the great lessons in experiencing and actualizing the life promised to believers, “the life more abundant” as Jesus said is learning how to forget what is in the past in your life to fully experience His presence in the present and position you for the greatest tomorrows for you, your family and your ministry.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14)
We are never going to be able to move forward consistently unless we can forget completely what has been our past, what has been behind. It is not living in denial that certain things have not taken place in our lives that have been unjust, hurt deeply, disappointed immensely, crushed our hopes and dreams, etc. Forgetting does not mean that we erase the memory of wrongs done to us, past situations that we wish were different but it lays the emotion surrounding the memory to rest once and for all.
The word “forgetting” means “to utterly oblivious of”. It means to “to remove out of memory”, emphasising not to consider it at all. Later on in chapter 4 of Philippians, Paul emphasises what our minds should think upon in verse 8. And what are those things? “pure…honest….just…pure…lovely….good report….virtuous….praiseworthy..”
This includes our past, not just our present or our outlook for the future! The things that have happened in our past, “those things that are behind” that are not pure or lovely or honest or praiseworthy or of GOOD REPORT, are to be completely forgotten. You only choose to consider and draw life from those things that have taken place in your past that feed your todays. The focus is on moving forward, the eyes are always seeing what is before, our energies are not to be used to dwell upon the hurts, the negative happenings of days gone by but insisting those things stay in the background.
To not look back is to not let your past catch up to you, but outdistance it. You must consciously forget.You must refuse to recollect a picture, emotion or event of the past to release the feelings surrounding that event into your present. The play of your life is in a new phase so those memories need to move off the stage. Your mental screen is the biggest screen of all and you hold the keys to the projector displaying your thoughts and what you want to think upon. Failures of your past are not the reality of your today or tomorrow. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success. The enemy wants us to perseverate on things of the past or even what is happening around you that are not good that robs us of moving forward into our destinies.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth”
If you want things to spring forth in your life, if you want the new things to materialize, then remember not the former things, do not consider what has happened in the past, it is not the truth of your today. We are constantly becoming a “new creation” as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17…”old things have passed away, BEHOLD, all things have become new”. We are not beholding the things that have passed away, we are beholding to see what is new. It is the way you do life, an ongoing revelation of what is becoming new, not dwelling on what has happened before. We must not give our power to the past but focus on moving forward. We must set aside the feelings attached to the events in our past, the event is not to be a constant bee sting paralyzing our forward movement. We must not lose heart or give despair a chair at our table, we must not keep thinking of what that person did to us, the injustices perpetrated upon us in any form. Ours is not a history of being gutted. We are to reframe the experiences of our past by neutralizing their emotional impact. Time to change the channel. The channel of the things which are ahead, the life that still is ours to be had, not the channel of all the negative that has happened.
We are not victims but victors always. We are being led forth in triumph and when you look back at the defeats you slow your personal victory march.
Remember, the devil is never happy about his future, so he wants to share in his unhappiness when it comes to yours! He is not wanting you to think that your future, one that Jesus Christ gave His life for to make it wonderful! All he can work on is bringing up this thing or that thing that took place in your life so you can drown in the miserable moments of your life and prophesy out of them your tomorrows. God gives beauty for ashes, so the ashes of your past can be traded in for the beauty belonging to your today and beautify your tomorrow.
Forget those things that are behind. You can learn from your mistakes but you are not a mistake. If you live life pressing forward, expecting the new, reaching forth unto those things that are before you, the goodness of God will truly create the abundant and fulfilling life that He has for you.
There might be one person who reads this that needed to, and that is worth it all! I have personally realized this of late in a new way and as a result, there has been a springing forth of joy and blessing in my inner man. And for those of you who are deeply concerned about the evil and darkness enveloping the world, a great way to live your life, is to not curse the darkness but light a candle. Remember you are the candle He lights up in the midst of darkness. You cannot fix the whole world but you can mend that which is within your reach. It is not that make a difference. Rather you are the difference, that is how God sees you! So stop looking back at the tragedies of your existence. You were made for these times and are not defeated, barely hanging on, trying to survive, living in wishful thinking. Today is the best day of the rest of your life! Every day new mercies are rolling in like the waves of the sea, washing away the footprints of yesterday. The sands are ready for you to walk on and all that has happened in your life, the good, the bad and the ugly are all part serving the success you are to experience, believe it!