Leave the Past Behind
By: Daniel Adams
Date: October 30, 2023
Philippians 3:13-14 (AMP) 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Before his conversion, Paul was responsible for killing Christians. In Acts chapter 7 we see that Stephen was put to death as the first martyr of the Church and his garments were laid at the feet of Saul (later Paul). Later on in the book of Acts we see that Saul (later Paul) was on the road to Damascus to bring Christians bound in chains back to Jerusalem where they would be imprisoned and put to death for their Christian faith, but God had a different plan for his life. It was on the road to Damascus that Saul was struck by a brilliant light, fell to the ground, and heard a voice from heaven identified as the voice of Jesus asking, “Why are you using violence against me?” his name was changed from Saul to Paul and he ended up blind for several days being led by his companions toward Damascus. After this radical conversion encounter with the glorified Jesus, he went on to write nearly two-thirds of the New Testament and he was used in a mighty way for God. However, he had to forget the failures of the past and move forward in God’s plan.
Paul was a brilliant man, a great philosopher, and head Pharisee who studied under Gamaliel who was one of, if not the greatest teacher of that time. In fact, Paul was so brilliant that in Acts 17, we find that he stood toe to toe with the greatest philosophers of his time. He also started one of the largest churches in history, the church at Ephesus which had between 20,000 and 40,000 members, yet in 1 Corinthians 2:2, he said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." He had to leave it all behind, he had to forget his past failures and his past success in order to press into God’s plan for his life.
So many people get stuck in the past. They constantly talk about past failures, past revival meetings, past moves of God, etc. While it's true that we can learn from the past, we shouldn't camp out there. God is moving in the now and we need to move forward into the more glorious things of God.
Reaching forth requires faith and effort, and it's how we are able to encounter God in our life and ministry in a fresh way. I want to encourage you today to leave the past in the past and press into the deeper things of God like never before! His plan for your life is beyond what you can even imagine.
Confession: Today I make the decision to leave the past in the past and press into God's plans and purposes like never before in Jesus' mighty name.