Moving Passed the Past
Verse 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
Knowing that we are Christ’s and that we are promised the prize that He has attained for us, we must remember that we are to focus on that prize.
A driver’s instructor made the point of helping his students understand that often the way we turn our heads is the direction our steering wheel will turn. His point was that we become so focused on something that we don’t even realize we start heading in that direction. Paul had a similar observation in the verse before us today.
Paul wants his friends to remember that to focus on the prize that their focus can’t be sidetracked elsewhere. One of the biggest distractions in our spiritual growth is our memories of the past. Whether they are good or bad memories they can stall our growth going forward. A hurt from the past can cloud how we see the present and the future. A great memory can cause us not to want to move forward.
When we have past failures we may find that they make us feel unworthy of moving towards the future. They hold us in bondage to our own capabilities or lack thereof. We stop thinking about Christ’s strength to take us forward and miss out on the blessing of being healed through forgiveness.
Moving on from the past isn’t always easy but it is always necessary. Especially for spiritual growth. When too rooted in the past we stop focusing on Christ who should be our desired object of focus and direction. To allow things from the past to hold us in captivity can show that they mean more to us than Christ does. That is not a thought we like to acknowledge but anything that takes our focus off of Christ may be an idol in our life.
So what does lie ahead that we should be focused on? A life lived with and for Christ. The end prize is heaven and eternity with Christ but we don’t have to wait until then to know the joy of living in His presence.
Making It Personal
What in your past often comes up in your thinking? Is it getting in the way of your relationship with Christ? What should you do to keep your focus on Him?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it hard to get over when someone hurts you? Does it make you lose focus on how much Jesus loves you? Do you focus on Jesus more than things that have happened to you?
Father, forgive of the times we have allowed the things of the past to cloud our here and now in You. Help us put behind us the things that hinder our going forward in growth. In Jesus’ name, amen.