Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV)
We, as believers in Jesus, must press on! We must go forward; keep going; advance; and persevere. According to the Bible passage shown above, we need to do two things: 1) forget the past, and 2) move forward.
For many of us, forgetting the past is a difficult thing to accomplish. We have an enemy of our souls who is most willing to remind us of every shameful and wicked thing that we may have ever said, done, or thought. His desire is to fill us with condemnation so that we are paralyzed—powerless and incapable of accomplishing anything for the Kingdom of God.
If we do not forget the past, we cannot accomplish step two: progress. Even the great apostle, Paul, had to go through this process. In many Scriptures, Paul is shown to have been an enemy of the Gospel of Jesus.1 But then, Paul had an experience with Jesus and His love!2 Afterward, Paul was able to make progress.
If we desire to succeed in those things that God has called us to do—and we are all called to be witnesses of salvation—we must learn to forget. If we don’t learn this lesson, we will be paralyzed and unable to live for God.
Among God’s wonderful promises to us is: I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. (Isa 43:25)
Again, the Lord says, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (Heb 8:12)
Since God refuses to remember our past, why should we? His desire—because of His great love—is to bless us, help us, and to pour out His mercy upon us.
Closely allied with learning to forget is learning to forgive.3 We have all heard excellent teaching on learning to forgive one another, which is essential.4 However, the person that we tend to overlook, when discussing forgiveness, is the one who looks back at us in the mirror. Yes, we need to forgive ourselves!
It takes faith to forgive. Our faith won’t work unless we do forgive, and in order for forgiveness to be genuine, we have to forget the past. So, genuinely forgive yourself by forgetting your past.
God has given us His Word to teach us how to operate in faith.5 We must remember and meditate upon His Word. As we memorize the Scriptures that demonstrate that God has forgiven us, forgotten our sins, and saved us, our faith becomes stronger! Once we have done that, we will be able—by faith—to forgive ourselves and to leave the past behind.
After thus obeying the Scriptures, we will have the ability and faith to accomplish our work on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Our lives will be healthier, happier, and blessed. Hallelujah!
- 1 Timothy 1:11-16; Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1-2
- Acts 26:12-18
- Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-5; Mark 11:25
- Matthew 18:23-35; Luke 6:37; Ephesians 4:32
- Romans 10:17