Summary: What things are we dragging behind us as we walk with the Lord. Quit looking back and look ahead for today is the first day of your eternal life.
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Pastor James May
Sights in the Rearview Mirror
There was once a man who had managed to retire from his job much earlier than usual. Most of his friends were concerned that he would not enjoy his life of freedom for very long but would soon get bored because they did not understand what he would be doing to occupy his time.
When he was asked, “What was it like when you drove away from your jobsite for the last time?” His answer was, “Well, as I drove away I looked into my rear view mirror knowing that this was the last time that I would have to see my old job. As I thought of all of the time that I had spent there, being limited by the whims of other people and many of the unpleasant things that had happened over the years. Then I began to think of the good things like talking with co-workers, vacations, holidays and the benefits I had left behind and I really began to have mixed emotions.
“And what were your feelings”, the friends asked. “Joy and Happiness”, he replied.
Philippians 3:13, "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,"
The Apostle Paul makes a powerful statement in this verse that every Christian must understand and strive to master.
Too many times I have heard and seen people who were still bound by past experiences and past sins that they just could never get over. The unwillingness to forget the past and to refuse to leave old wounds alone often results in a Christian falling back and not ever reaching the greatness that God desires for their life.
In every church, and indeed, in every life, there is pain and hurt from the past. Christians who have been mistreated, disillusioned, or deceived by a preacher or other brothers and sisters in the church are numerous and reaching them with the healing mercies of God is not an easy task because they don’t trust anyone.
Likewise, there are those who may have committed some terrible sin in their past who just can’t seem to believe that God has really forgiven them and Satan loves to jump up on their shoulder and bring up every sordid detail.
Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
Hebrews 10:17, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
Hebrews 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
God has made some awesome promises to those who will put their trust in Him, keep their face set toward Jesus and walk on in faith. We must learn to do as Paul said and press on toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus and set our eyes on that which lies ahead and not that which is behind and forgotten.
Which of us can change one thing that has already happened? Once the deed is done it can’t be undone and a word spoken is not retrievable. But God has the power to wipe it all away if we can only believe and trust what He says.
As Israel was nearing the end of their captivity in Egypt, God spoke to them some great promises. I believe these same promises are for us today.
6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.