Forget the past- Press on the future!
Today, I announce to you, upon the authority of God’s word to forget what’s behind. The past can be good or bad, but whatever it is let go of the old, so that you will be able to embrace the new. It doesn’t matter what has happened in your history but God wants you to press forward. Your past may always be there but don’t allow it to keep you there. Don’t allow your past define what or who you are today. Because today, you are forgiven, empowered, and accepted by God. Don’t let your past victory or failure keeps you from a bright future God has prepared for you.
Remember, God’s grace and mercy are new EVERY DAY. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3: 13 but this one thing I do, forgetting those things, which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things, which are before. In other words, I will put all my energy to do one thing: to forget the past and press on, and working hard to achieve what God has put ahead of me. He said, I don’t struggle with my past any more. But, I will put every effort to take a new hold on life every day.
Of course, forgetting the past is not an easy process. It is very difficult for some people to break away from horrible memories, failures, disappointments, hurt, defeats and so on. But all those things has happened somewhere sometime in the past. Because we keep them (consciously or unconsciously) in our hearts and minds, they are still have power to dominate our progress, to destroy our peace and fill our life with fear and guilt.
Remember – God is a God of new things. A new life, new beginning, new covenant, new hearts, and new way of doing things. Because he is a God of new things there is always hope and future. There is joy and peace. However, for the new things begin the old has to go away.
Dear saint, God is doing a new thing right now. But he wants you to get rid off the old so that the new has begun. It is your choice to show effort so that you can enjoy the wonderful blessings of God each day and every moment. Each day, each moment is a miracle. Moving forward is not easy but it is not impossible too. No matter what you have been through the past it should not be your residence; because you always have a choice. You have a choice to live a life that is purposeful and peaceful. But you have to dare to close the door to the past and move on. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, an Irish poet once said, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” That is absolutely true.
To be able to live out of the past is to be able to live out of a prison. Both make us hopeless and helpless. Both have such a controlling power that makes us powerless, worthless, and paralyzed our dignity and humanness. Prison, as the Webster Dictionary defines it is “a state of confinement or captivity.” No matter how you define it is the last place you experience powerlessness, distress, pain and shame. It is a place where your normal routines and relationships that make life worth living are cut off. It is a place where you are subjected to somebody who is on the position of authority. Like a prison when our past has a negative influence on our present and future it makes us miserable, depressed, and hopeless. It puts us in such a cold and dark corner of life and takes our joy and peace of mind.
No matter what happened in the past we need to close the door and open a new chapter. We need to learn to live in the present and hope a better future.
Things we need to forget:
- Your sins.
May be you been living so badly in the past and messed up here and there. You did such terrible things to people and yourself. Ok , you made some mistakes and blown some chances and the enemy has said to you that you are beyond repair. Because of that you may feel dirty, guilty and ashamed. Because you messed up so bad you are wondering how God can forgive some one like you.
Let me tell you this. I’ve been bad most of my life. I have been neck-deep in sin. I have made a lot of stupid mistakes that I wished I hadn’t done. I have been blamed myself and felt trapped on my own sins. I was ashamed of people’s accusations and I was good for nothing for most of them. But God showed me one day the way out and restored my life and He uses those time in my life to show me more of Himself. You know what? I am not who I was. He accepted me as I was and took me with joy into his embrace and said “son, I forgive you.” From that day on my life changed. My case dismissed.
Sin is a serious matter. Sin always has consequences. Sin is not only makes us feel guilty, but it also cuts us off from God (and from others). But God will forgive you no matter how bad your sins looks. You know why? You have not done anything so bad that God cannot forgive it. The scripture says in 1 John 1:9 NIV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. You see? God is faithful and the blood of His son, Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin(1 John 1:7). When God forgives us He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west Psalm 103:12. Spurgeon said of this verse: “….it (our sin) is moved so far that the distance is incalculable… If sin can be removed so far then we can be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone.”
And God said in Hebrews 8:12 also, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” You are a new creature. You are a free person. Don’t listen to the devil’s lie. Don’t believe him. He is a clever schemer and full of perversion. The word of God in Romans 8:1 says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
- Your accomplishments.
Some one once said, “stopping every now and then to smell the roses is perfectly fine. But don’t get stuck in there.” It is a great thing to enjoy and celebrate your success and most importantly your hard work achievements. Don’t fall in the trap of minimizing your accomplishment. But after your celebration you need to start work on towards your next achievement. You need to keep on press on. God has more for you than your yesterday’s achievement. Susan Polis Schultz once said, “if you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the new day brings.” Our achievements though they are good, can also hinder our ability to continue in a road of success. Use your achievements as reference and source for your next accomplishment. We need to go beyond the “bottle neck mentality” and start to excel in everything. To excel is to go beyond and to surpass in quality. Here is the spiritual principle, if you keep looking back on your failures or achievements, you can’t make progress. Don’t stuck in your past but press on forward.
- Your hurt and shame.
Shame as the Modern dictionary defines is, “a painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, etc., done by oneself or another.” You may be hurt somewhere in the past and you may still feel the pain and the shame. You are a victim. You suffered. But it’s unfair to you to keep on carrying the shame and the pain any more. You need to stop the pain so that you can move on your life. The healing process must starts from you. You cannot change the past, but you can change your present and future. You need to learn how to forgive yourself and those who hurt you. To forgive is to let go of pain, resentment and regret from our past experience. Lewis Smedes says, “When you forgive you set a prisoner free. And then you discover that the prisoner was you.”
Don’t be a victim of your past. To be a victim is to hold onto hurt. It will eat up your soul. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how hard you try — you are never going to have a better past. But you have a choice to have a better present and future. You have to start closing the door to the past and start to move on. A fresh start and a new beginning are the results of forgiveness. As Dr. Martin Luther King similarly said that “… Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning…”
The past is our obstacle that keeps us from true freedom and peace that God provides us through Jesus Christ. When we are preoccupied with our shame, guilt, hurt and accomplishments we forgot to experience the love and peace that God granted us. Forget the past! Learn to live! We all have things in our past we wish they were different, but the reality is not. The past is over and there is nothing we can do about it. But there is something we can do today about the future. It is forgetting those things, which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things, which are before. Remember this- you cannot look ahead and behind at the same time. Can you? No you can’t. So, it is up to you, it is your choice, it is your call to forget the past whatever that is and move on in your life with God’s favor and grace each moment and each day. Each day, each moment is a miracle. Moving forward is not easy but it is not impossible too.
Eyob B Kassa
November 23, 2009