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Summary: It is during this time of year that we tend to look back at the previous year or years. We reflect on our accomplishments and sometimes we linger on our failures. The problem is that many people stay in the past in stead of reaching for the future.

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INTRODUCTION

It is usually during this time of year that we tend to look back at the previous year or years.

We reflect on our accomplishments and sometimes we linger on our failures.

There might have been personal trials that you faced or maybe your plans did not come to fulfilment.

Maybe you did things that you are not particular proud of.

Or maybe you made some enemies or are fighting with someone.

Everyone has a different life and therefore a different set of challenges and victories.

What do you see looking back at 2015?

Do you see victories or do you see failures or maybe both?

Do you sometimes find yourself lingering on the past?

Now Paul writes to the church in Philippi and he speaks to them about the past.

Let’s read what he wrote in:

Philippians 3:12-14 KJV

(12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

(13) 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 which are before,

(14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let’s Pray

WE SHOULD FORGET THE THINGS IN THE PAST

We read in verse 13, where Paul says the following:

“forgetting those things which are behind”

When Paul speaks of things behind us, he is speaking of the past.

As an example, when you ride in your car and you look in your rear view mirror, what do you see?

Do you see things on your journey that are yet to come?

No!

You see things that are in the past.

So Paul is saying here that we should forget the things in the past.

Now that, in itself, is a very bold and usually extremely difficult statement.

It is usually next to impossible to “forget” our past.

Let me tell you my view.

I do not believe that the idea Paul makes here is one of total disremembering.

I believe that what he wants to inform us of here is that we should not allow any past reference to interfere with us obtaining the ultimate prize.

As you read Paul’s letters you will find that he likes to allude about running a race and finishing the race, in a spiritual sense.

Here, in today’s scripture, it is not different.

He refers here to the Grecian races.

Now in that race you would run to secure the prize.

You would not stop to look behind you to see how far you have run.

You would not look behind you to see how many competitors you are beating.

You would not look behind you to see how many obstacles you overcame.

You would concentrate on obtaining the prize and use every effort in order to obtain it.

You will focus on the future.

If your attention was diverted for a moment it could hinder you in obtaining the prize and can even aid in you losing your crown.

You can, for example, not see the obstacle in front of you, because your focus was at the obstacle behind you, which you already overcame.

And then you fall at that obstacle, doing the same next time or having injured yourself so much that you have to wait to recover before you can continue.

We can therefore reason that:

OUR PAST FAILURES CAN BE A GREAT STUMBLING BLOCK TO REACHING OUR DESTINATION

You see many people today are in bondage to their past failures.

They are so much in bondage that they are incapable of taking the steps to try again.

Many believers can be positioned into this scenario.

They allow their past experiences, their past failures, to control their future.

I heard this story of a guy in his 60s.

He had a driver’s license but he never wanted to drive a car.

When he was asked why, he said that, when he was 18 he got behind the wheel of a car and he made a terrible accident.

No one got hurt, but that incident, that failure, shaped his future.

He refused to drive a car again because of fear, because of his past.

If he wants to go places he needs to ask for a lift.

He has to depend on others to get him to places.

If he would just take the past failure and keep it in the past, he could go forward and get behind the wheel of a car and become independent with regards to his transport.

But it is up to him as it is up to you.

You have to decide whether you want to stay in the past or reach out to the future.

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