Summary: Remember, yesterday is history (you can’t change it) today is a present (enjoy it) and tomorrow is a mystery (look forward to it with expectations).
That I may know Him (2): Forget your Past, Focus on the Future
Text Philip 3:12-14:
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. 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
There are some of us who are quick to bring up, at the earliest opportunity, what friends and family did to hurt us in the past. I know of tongue speaking, Bible believing, Holy Spirit filled prayer warriors who deliberately or out of ignorance of what the word of God says, keep on living in the past: either in their own past, or reminding others of their past. The word of God talks a lot about letting go of our past, because God does not want us all cluttered up with the junk of our past. That junk may be the success that you have achieved in the past; it may be your past failures that are taunting you. Remember, yesterday is history (you can’t change it) today is a present (enjoy it) and tomorrow is a mystery (look forward to it with expectations).
Let me ask you a question? Why do people approach soothsayers, palm readers and witches? Mainly to learn about the future, not the past, because the future is the exciting bit. God wants us to walk by faith, trust in him and see our future through his eyes, not through the eyes of a soothsayer. And forgetting your past is a key that opens the door to all the promises, riches and blessings of God. Today, we shall examine a few scriptures as we uncover how forgetting our past releases our future.
In Philippians 3: 12-14, Apostle Paul made a clear case why as believers, we need to place attention to what is before us, not what is behind. When you forget your past, you open the door towards a bright new future. Your past is designed to keep you in the past; but if you press forward, God has already prepared your future reward. Apostle Paul had a past as Saul the persecutor and prosecutor of brethren but he had to release this old identity, in order for him to move forward in the ministry to which God had called him. Even when he became a believer, he had to get himself to a point when he considered past achievements as dung, in order to completely possess the riches of Christ. Moses put aside his position as prince in Pharaoh’s palace for him to be used by God. Abraham had to leave his kindred for him to enter into the fullness of the promises of God.
When we get saved, we no longer identify with the devil, but with Jesus our Savior. We change camps to God’s team. In order words, if you don’t renounce that old identity, you may not know it, but you are saying, Lord, I am professing you, but I don’t possess you, because I am still firmly in the devil’s camp. Forgetting your past releases your future.
God’s grace and mercy are new every day
The Bible in Lamentations 3: 22-24 says the mercies of the Lord are new everyday but this Bible passage will only work in your life if you are a new creation by the renewing of your mind. If you keep on living in your old says, you may be not be able to partake of this newness of his mercies. Mat 9:17 tells us that old wines should not be poured into old wineskins, otherwise the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. You need to move in line with his grace and allowing the past to creep into your today will hurt your future and keep you out of line with the move of God. God says he will be merciful to our unrighteousness and our sins and lawless deeds he will remember no more.
Forgiving has to do with forgetting, you can’t forgive if you don’t forget the past
Forgetting and forgiveness go hand in glove, whether it is forgiving yourself or others. When we forgive, we must forget. Forgiving and forgetting position you to receive God’s best and move to the next level of God’s favour. As a true believer, you need to forgive the person who has wronged you. In Luke 17 the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith so they could forgive the way he expected them to. This tells me that you can’t forgive without faith. To forgive by faith means you are doing it because the word of God says so, regardless of how you feel. This is not a matter of how you feel; this is a matter of what the word says.