Well, where we think we’re going depends on a number of things. What I want to talk about today is our past; it’s one of the things we take with us everywhere we go. Many of the things and events of the past that we carry effect what I will do right now. This makes it very important to properly deal with it so that it doesn’t hold us back in our lives.
13 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, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul is uniquely qualified to talk about this subject as Paul had a past worth forgetting. Paul was highly educated and a zealot; he was responsible for the destroying of the Christian movement after Jesus died on the cross. He went from city to city having Christians stoned for blasphemy. Paul later used his past as a testimony to Christ and his future “in Christ”.
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus makes it pretty clear that we are not to look back. What does looking back mean for us today? As we see, the past can hold good memories and bad memories and then just memories that are neither good nor bad; there is training and education we would not want to forget. Education is actually a separate category that falls into 'information' but what was experienced during education would apply.
What do memories do for us? They make us smile, cry, or laugh. What we don’t want is for those memories to occupy our life today. Why you ask? Simply because we are new creations in Jesus Christ and all things have been made new.
18 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
If we dwell on memories to much we can wind up a prisoner to those memories. We can become trapped in its emotional grip unable to move forward in anything. This is more common than you might imagine. In fact, it happens every day and actually most of us have been greatly affected by an old memory or two. Getting free from the abuse of the past is like a jail break from the grip of the Devil.
Father God, we come before You in the Name of Jesus: We lift up our past and ask to be set free from it. We forgive all who have injured and abused us. We ask for forgiveness for all we have injured and abused. We ask to be released from the grip of any old memories or ties to the past. We ask that you would teach us to walk in today and on to the future. We choose to move forward toward You God and make new memories that are directed by You. Holy Spirit lead us in the way we should go and direct us around any obstacles. Amen!
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