BY TOM ALBRECHT
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)
As we are now well into 2016, we must choose to forget some things and remind ourselves of the hope that is for us throughout this year. The Apostle Paul encourages us in the book of Philippians to "forget" the past. We don't get a "do over" for the regrets of yesterday, but we can "begin again." Thankfully, God declared that He is the one who makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5)
"We don't get a 'do over' for the regrets of yesterday, but we can 'begin again.'"
We need to forget our times of defeat or even failure. Jesus forgives when we cry out to him, and according to scripture, "We give thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ .... (2 Corinthians 2:14 a) We also need to forget the times of frustration when our hard work seems to show no visible results.
How many times have foolish decisions haunted us as we rehearse our poor judgment until we are filled with despair? How often are we painfully aware of our faults, sins and disobedience and forget that "He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." when we confess with wholehearted agreement and repentance? ( 1 John 1:9)
It is important to remember that in Christ we are no longer under the law but under grace. A great mentor of mine said this "Grace enables, but the law requires." The law demands that which we cannot accomplish, "for by the works of the law shall no man be justified." (Galatians 2:16) Grace empowers us to walk in same power that raised Jesus from the dead. This Gospel is the glorious hope of "newness of life" in Christ so that "sin has no more dominion over us."
Let’s remember to embrace all the promises of God. He declared our position in Christ is "now." When we walk in His glorious liberty - with no condemnation - the enemy of our soul cannot successfully accuse us before God because we are under the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus.
God calls the enemy the “accuser” in Revelation 12:10 … and the accuser has no right to intimidate us with our past failures … or with unfair comparisons with those who seemingly have greater maturity. In Christ, we have a new identity, a new life ... a new law of love and the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. We have mercies that are new every morning and compassion doesn’t fail from a great and awesome God who is faithful even when we are not. (Lamentations 3:20-22)
The future looks good for you and me ... old things have passed away and all things are new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Remember that you are a greatly beloved child of God, and in him we live and move and have our very existence. (Acts 17:28)
Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil to give you an expected end." We have all had failed plans, but no weapon devised in hell itself is able to prosper against God's ultimate purpose for us as we put our trust in Him. (Isaiah 54:17)
Remember, and be confident of this very thing ... that He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6).