“… I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. …” Philippians 3:13 (NLT)
One of the mental games I’ve found that our enemy likes to use against us is to cause us to remember the things we ought to forget and forget the things we should remember. It’s the devil’s way to keep us stuck in the past. Part of living longer is accumulating a past. Have you made peace with your past? We all have past regrets, past failures, and hurts that threaten to derail us from moving forward into the irresistible future that God has for us. One of the paradoxes of Scripture that, on the surface, appears as a contradiction is when we read in one passage that we are to “remember the former days” and in another passage to “forget the former things.” The point is that there are things God wants us to remember, as well as things we should forget. In his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says,
“Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.”
Look back on the good things God has done for you, the grace He has shown you, and set your gaze ahead to what lies before you. And, when the enemy reminds you of your irreparable past, just remind him of his imminent future! As we flip the calendar to a new year, I believe God wants you to receive this promise from His Word. I pray it will encourage and challenge you as it does me!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)