Scriptures referenced for today: John 3:15; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:3; Luke 4:18-19; Matthew 5:3; Luke 1:78; Luke 4:22; Matthew 9:36; 15:32; 23:37; 23:13-33; John 13:1; Psalm 45:2; Song of Solomon 5:16; Philippians 3:8;
I have to say that nothing in the pre-written praise prayer jumped out at my heart. But the last few sentences struck something in my mind, so I looked up the last verse referenced, Philippians 3:8. This led me to this verse:
13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Now, a heart string was plucked. “Forgetting what lies behind and staining forward to what lies ahead.” Oh yes, how many months, days, and even sometimes hours, I have had to do my best to forget what was behind and focus on what was ahead. Some, who know my story, have asked, how did you keep on going? Why didn’t you quit? Why did you stay? I think this is THE reason. I try to live in the moment, and keep reaching for what is ahead. If I allowed myself to look back, it could be crushing. The hardest moments in my life are those where I allowed myself to look back, or even just stand in the moment at hand with no movement toward anything in the future.
I think one key to this verse is the ‘and.’ Yes, that and is of utmost importance. You see, if all we do is work on forgetting what lies behind, we can get caught, trapped even, in that moment. It’s like when I say don’t think of a butterfly – you couldn’t help but think of one, now could you? What color was it? Oh, there you did it again! Made you look! lol
In the same respect, if all we do is strain forward to what lies ahead, we ignore our past. By ignoring our past, we might just repeat it. Don’t think about the butterfly! Ha! Made you look again! Ever watch a little one chase a butterfly? They have no clue where they are going, nor where they have been. There is always that moment when they look up with panic because they feel lost. They don’t have the ‘and’ factor, they are just running forward, aimlessly. They have no sense of how they got where they are either. They were just mindlessly chasing a butterfly. Didn’t I tell you not to think about a butterfly? Stop it! lol
And … it’s the ‘and’ that holds the key to this whole verse. It’s a delicate balance. We need to learn to get free of our past AND move forward with the future. We can’t allow our past to keep us prisoner. And we can’t run around aimlessly, we need something to move toward.
If you read the scriptures surrounding this one, you will see the way we can do this is only through Christ. Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me his own. Christ Jesus wants to take hold of YOU and make YOU his own too. Christ is the bridge. He is the AND between our past and our future. Without Him, we will get stuck in the past. Without Him we wander around aimlessly with nothing to strain forward to.
How about you? Are you stuck in your past? Trapped by events you had no real control over? Caught in words spoken to you? Bound by generational habits, old family ways? Christ Jesus died to clean all those things up, why are you hanging onto them? You have a choice, Him or them? Paul says, “I consider them rubbish.” Stop hanging onto your trash!
Are you wondering what lies ahead? Afraid to try something new? Struggling with what is happening in your life? Running from responsibility placed in your path? What exactly is holding you back from moving forward? Paul says, “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” I know he isn’t talking about the same thing. But really, the principle is still true, God WILL make clear to you where you are to go! Move forward! God will make clear your path. Trust Him – He’s brought you this far, what makes you think He’s going to leave you now?
And … it sure can be powerful when Jesus is involved!
By the way, is that butterfly still lurking around? lol Made you look again!