13.....but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
The other night I had a dream that I was driving down Bluebonnet Blvd towards Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. Every time I tried to look out my rearview and side mirrors to turn, I could not see anything. It was all blocked out, and I could only see what was straight in front of me. When I started thinking about that dream as a whole, I began to think about how we often look back at our past, and we are so focused on what's behind us that we cannot see what is in front of us. I want my vision to look forward. I do not want to constantly be thinking about what is behind me and consumed with all those things I wish I had done. I want to see what God has in front of me. So let's talk about a rearview perspective.
In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul says,
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 KJV
It is so important to live a life focusing on what's up ahead. When we are attached to things from our past whether, a marriage that failed, abuse that happened, an unachieved dream, or a loved one that died, we find ourselves wanting to live in that past. God wants us to change our focus and keep it straight ahead. It's not that we forget that we went through those things because we can take those things that we have gone through and apply them in a positive light to our future. We don't want to walk with our heads turned, looking at what used to be, or we will trip on the obstacle in front of us. When we look forward, we can see what God has in store for us.
Don't Let the Circumstances of our Past Dictate our Future
Don't let the circumstances of our past dictate our future. Many women who have been through abuse let it become so much a part of them that they wear it as a cloak; that's who they are. Everything they do is driven by something that has happened in their past. Every decision they make, even when they don't even realize it. Everything they choose or don't choose. Their future husband, that job, or whether or not they pursue that dream. Don't let the past dictate your life and ruin God's plans for you. God wants you to shed that weight off. You have to take all those things off, like a runner getting ready for a race.
For a runner to be fast, he must wear light clothing and shoes, so he is not weighed down by anything. They train, so their bodies are trim, so even their bodies don't get in their way. We have to stop living in our past and letting that past get in the way of God's plans for us. God has wonderful things in store for us, and yeah, they aren't easy to get to; there isn't a yellow brick road that we are going to go skipping down. It's going to take work, effort, and trials. I mean, a runner doesn't get to the finish line easily; before he is halfway there, he feels that burn, ache, and tiredness in his lungs and muscles. But eventually, he will get what they call a second wind, and suddenly they get this extra energy boost. My daughter who ran track would tell me it's like a wall. You have to get through that wall, get this extra boost, and then you can make it to the end. But you have to press forward to get through that wall to get there. If you give up, you don't make it. You allow the circumstances of your body to keep you from making it, and you fall. God in our lives is our energy, the Holy Spirit is there to give us that strength, but we have to push through.
We have to continue to believe in faith that God will take care of it, heal us, and restore things to us that may have been taken. If you have lost a loved one, God will restore your joy. You won't always be in mourning. God will give that joy to you because he promised he would give you joy for our mourning. We can stand on his word that he's going to do that. We don't have to dwell in self-pity and wallow in our problems because God has given us the ability to have joy in the midst of that. We may have problems that look like they are here for the duration of life. But how are you going to deal with it? Are you going to let that disappointment hold you back? Are you going to say to God, "I don't care if this is here to stay or this is going to pass in my life? I will press forward to that high calling that you have given me. I will praise you in the midst of the circumstance that I am going through. I will not allow the past to hold me back from everything you have for me. I will not have a rearview perspective. I will not continue to look back at everything I did wrong and think of how I messed that up or how I shouldn't have done that and how if I hadn't done this, I would be further along with God. You know what? That is over. God has moved on and forgotten about it. If you have asked God to forgive you then, God has forgotten this, and he's moved on. Why are we still there? God gave us a way out. Christ died on the cross and shed his blood for everything. Not some things; there aren't different levels. Jesus didn't say, well, my blood can cover this, but not that. Jesus' blood covered it all. So we can do what Paul said and push forward to that mark of the high calling Christ Jesus so that we can be like him. We've got to continue to look forward. I think we need to have those blinders on so we don't look to the left or right. So we can be focused on him. Following the direction of where he wants us to go, we can have the things he has ordained for us from the beginning.
So if you've been a rearview perspective person, you don't want to do that anymore. Let's decide to look forward and follow Christ in everything that he has for us. And if God has something good for you, take it because it's for you. Stop allowing the enemy to tell you that you are not worth it. You are worth God's love, his blood, and the future he wants to give you. You are worthy of forgiveness and the future he wants to give you. None of us are worthy in ourselves, but he made us worthy through his blood. Accept him and what he wants to give you. He loves you. Believe in God for impossible things. Press forward to reach the calling he has for you.