Your Past is Robbing You of Your Future
Focusing on your past robs you of the joy of today and the hope of tomorrow.
Many people never let go of the past. For some, the shame and regret of former sins keeps them chained to condemnation. For others, the good ole days (or their own glory days) keeps them looking back. Either way, many people can’t enjoy their lives because they are not fully “present.”
There is a reason that your vehicle’s windshield is so much larger than its rear view mirror. Seeing where you are and where you are going is more important than seeing where you’ve been.
The Apostle Paul had a past. Out of religious zeal (a sincere but incorrect belief about God), Paul had persecuted and killed those who followed Jesus Christ and His teachings. After Paul encountered Jesus for himself, he realized the truth and humbled himself before Jesus. His life was miraculously changed. Still, he had regrets.
But then, from the point of his conversion, Paul began to change the world! He ministered in countless cities, planted churches, mentored leaders, and often suffered for the cause of Christ. In addition to being tempted to live in the regret of his sinful past, Paul could have been tempted to live in the “glory days” of his righteous past, having accomplished so much for the kingdom of God.
Instead, Paul said:
“…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 ESV
Sometimes it’s easier said than done. How does a person “forget what lies behind?”
- Repent of sin, specifically and thoroughly. An unredeemed past will follow you until it has been “washed in the blood” of Jesus. You cannot ignore or bury a sinful past. You must confront it, confess it, and turn away from it.
- Recognize today’s opportunities. The Holy Spirit has some divine assignments for you today! Watch, listen, be sensitive to what He is doing today. Not only that, but be aware that God’s mercies are new every morning. Today He wants to speak a fresh word, and pour out a fresh anointing in your life.
- Reach forward with vision and hope. God declared, through the prophet Joel: “In the last days I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…young people will see visions, and older people will dream dreams.” No matter where you are in life, God wants to give you vision and dreams for what is yet to come.
We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it. What we don’t want to do is live in it, or be chained to it.
Instead, let’s lift up our eyes! Let’s settle sin issues and then move forward with the joy of today and with hope for tomorrow!