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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13, 14
The past is gone. You cannot do anything about it. You cannot change one event or one experience. But Paul, the apostle, said that a Christian could do one helpful thing about the past. In fact, he made it very personal and said it is what he, himself, was doing: Say, like Paul, “This one thing I do.” Call it the power of concentration, consolidation of purpose, or singleness of heart. Whatever you call it, we need it in our walk with God. In fact, this concept is all through the Bible.
“Many a man goes through life shackled and crippled because he will not forget the
things he should forget.” – J. Vernon McGee
I. Forget your Mistakes.
First, forget your mistakes. We all blunder, don’t we? Well, let us forget them. How many of us lose sleep over things we wish we had not said or done? My friend, correct what you have done and then forget it. Move on.
II. Forget your Sensitivities.
Listen, you are going to get hurt in life’s struggle. Somebody is going to offend you. How many people nurse grudges and hurts? You may even be carrying ill feelings and spreading disruption and disturbance among God’s people. Do not let your life be ruined by old wounds and hurt. As you look back into your past and remember personal injuries, forget them.
III. Forget your Successes.
Today we measure people by the dollar sign. How much money have you made? Are you a success in business? What school did you graduate from? What title do you have at work? Hw much influence do you have? My beloved, these values are wrong. Many a man is called a success who is a sorry failure at home.
IV. Forget your Sorrows.
Child of God, He let you go down through the valley of the shadow of death in order that He—as the
God of all comfort— might comfort you. And He does it so, through you, His Word can bring comfort
V. Forget your Sins.
God’s Word makes it clear what we are to do with our sins: Confess them promptly to God, and then
forget them. God gets tired of us reminding Him of our past sins. After we have dealt with the sin and confessed it privately to God, He says it is forgotten— “forget those things which are behind.”
David spoke of a unique place:
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? –Psalm 88:12
I do not know the actual location of the “land of forgetfulness,” but wherever it is, it is the proper
place for the forgiven failures of your past.
But your sins are not forgiven, or you are not sure they are forgiven. If that is your situation, I ask you: Would you like to wipe out the sins and stains of your past? Would you like confidence they are forgiven? God will not only forgive your sins, but He will also do something else: He will forget them.
His Word says it over and over:
VI. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE FUTURE
We may stand on the threshold of the unknown future, but Paul stands with us, saying,
… one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13, 14
After you have done the challenging work of forgetting what is behind, look to Jesus Christ, “the
author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
Come to Him, the One who is the way, the truth, and the life—the One who can bring you into contact
with the Father. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. But God does. Why not put Him at the
controls of your life?