Philippians 3:13-14, “13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
You move past your past by forgetting what is behind you and pressing on towards your future by the power of the Holy Spirit. You cannot effectively move forward looking backwards. Imagine trying to drive a car forward by looking into the rear view mirror- it would be disastrous! The same is true with the past, you can’t effectively move forward continually focusing on your past.
You have to forget the past and focus on what is ahead to move into God’s plan for your life.
Every one of us has things in our past we want to forget about, but the memories follow us everywhere. Our mind can sometimes be our worst enemy- repeating like a broken record our past hurts and failures. Your worst memories of the past can sometimes be what others did to you. The pain they caused you lives on because you keep the past memories in your present thoughts.
For others the past is haunting because of the sinful things you did to others and yourself. You wish you could just hit the reset button and have all your sinful memories erased. Paul in today’s passage stated that since he hadn’t received his resurrected body yet, he was still reminded of his past mistakes. Nonetheless, he wrote that there is one thing he could do until then, he could choose to forget what was behind and strain towards what was ahead. By forgetting what is behind Paul is not referring to a special ability to erase his memories, but rather the supernatural freedom from being focused on them in the present.
The only way you and I can no longer focus on the past is if the Holy Spirit changes the pattern of our thinking. Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Until we are given a new body with a new brain, it will be a daily fight to keep the mind free from the past and stay focused on God’s Word. A wise person once said, “The loudest and most convincing lies are the ones we tell ourselves. Yet at the same time, the most convincing truths are those God speaks to our hearts.”
Think about your mind like a cup of clean water that was cleansed when you were born again. Now every time you have thoughts about your past, they’re like specks of dirt coming into your pure water. The Holy Spirit is here to guard your mind from the specks of dirt ever coming in and if they do, He is here to renew your mind back to its default position of purity. Therefore, make a choice everyday to step out of your past and into God’s future with the way you think!
- Ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse your mind and set you free from the broken record of your past.
- Anytime your past memories try to come back ask God to cleanse you again.
- Stay focused on your future and meditate on God’s promises for your life!