Paul the Apostle said in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Most of us in the body of Christ would do well to listen to these words. We would do well to go over them, over and over again, until we believe and receive the concept behind them. Even a yesterday that was lived in error can hinder our walk with Christ today, or even tomorrow.
I believe our Lord loves a humble and contrite heart when we stumble and fall, but I believe we grieve Him when we remain locked in to our past mistakes or failures. The word says that there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, but if we truly love the Lord and recognize that He is totally Holy, the enemy can buffet us with our humanistic mistakes.
The Apostle Paul lived in the world of mistakes before he had the Damascus experience and began to live his life totally for Christ. Yet, he became such a true follower of Christ that if you follow his writings, you begin to see that is all that he lived for.
We as believers in Christ must learn to let go of our yesterdays. Yes, we should ask for the forgiveness of our sins as we are prompted to by the Holy Spirit, but then we need to live the rest of our days focused on the purposes of Christ for our lives, and not focused on our failures.
Most of us have a past, and that past can remain a stronghold in our lives if we’re not careful to let it go. I have rarely met someone who can say that they had a perfect life before they came to Christ, have you? Simply stated, our race began the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts, the day He called us to be His own. If you were a child when this happened, you are among the most blessed, but if you were already a teenager or a grownup, most likely you had a past that you would rather forget about. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that you were a terrible sinner, but simply that when you got born again, you simply recognized your sin nature, perhaps for the first time.
The word tells us that we are a new creation, that all things have become new. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, but our feelings have nothing to do with it. God’s word has to be the ULTIMATE say in our lives. We should not have to be convinced, but if we do need convincing, we should speak what He says about us, over and over again, until the Spirit of God convinces us and we begin to walk in it.
I watched a war movie recently and I heard someone say to the family of a dead soldier that “A person is never more courageous as when they put away their past pain in a box and lock it up.” For some reason, that spoke to my heart. We as believers must learn to put our past pain, whatever the source, in a box and lock it up and never go back to it again. In this way, we can pick up our head and run the race for Christ.
Who likes carrying around old baggage; none of us do, and God doesn’t expect us to. He said “My burden is light and my yoke is easy”. Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us run the race for the joy set before us!