“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 of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 BSB)

God has good plans for each of us that involve a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). However, to step forward toward God’s plans for our future we have to let go of our pasts. This means at least two things:

First, don’t get hung up on your hang-ups. The devil loves to write graffiti on the walls of our minds. And, he forges our handwriting to do so. Here are some examples, “I’m too screwed up because of the dysfunctional home I grew up in.” “I’ve messed up too much to be used of God.” “I just can’t forgive myself.” “I’ve let too many opportunities go by; it’s too late for me.” “I’m not good (or talented, or smart, or competent) enough to accomplish God’s plans for me.”  

Take a look in the Bible at the people God used greatly for His cause. Most of them were train wrecks before God got a hold of them. And, home life? Take a look at Joseph’s family. They put the “fun” in dysfunctional! God was not limited by any of their limitations. He will not be limited with any of yours either.

Strong confident woman celebrating a victory with her fist in the air.

Second, don’t rest on your laurels. Pride in past accomplishments can stall you from moving forward in God’s purposes as much as regret over past mistakes. The Apostle Paul didn’t have his failures in mind when he wrote about forgetting what lies behind. He was talking about everything he had attained before he met Christ.

It’s not what we accomplish for ourselves that counts for eternity. It’s not even what we try to accomplish for God that counts. This is specifically what Paul was leaving behind (Ph. 3:4-7). It’s what we accomplish with God through His power and His righteousness that counts for eternity (Ph. 3:9-11; Jn. 15:5; Col. 1:29).

Child of God, let the past pass. Yesterday is gone. Today Jesus is bidding you, “Come, follow Me.” Forget what lies behind. Press on to follow Him. He will lead you to the prize of your heavenly calling. For, HE is your hope and future!

© Paul R Downing.  Daybreak Devotions.  

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