13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind. (WEB)
If you want to avoid getting in a car accident, you better keep your eyes on the road. There is no point being fixated on looking in your rear view mirror because that is a recipe for disaster. The best way to get where you want to go is to keep looking ahead.
I like how the Apostle Paul says that he chose to forget the things which were behind him so that he could focus on the things that were still ahead. Specifically Paul was referring to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I believe that one of the strategies that the enemy has in his toolkit to keep us distracted is regret. If he can keep us living in the past because of the mistakes that we have made, he will have accomplished his mission. In the same way that we cannot drive a car forward while being pre-occupied with looking backward, we cannot advance into our divine destinies by being pre-occupied with all of our past failures.
Runners can't run forward too well while looking backward either. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are called to throw aside the things that hinder us and the sin that so easily trips us up so that we can run the unique race marked out for us. As we run, our eyes should always be fixed forward upon Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith.
My prayer today is that God would give us the freedom to run the unique race that He has prepared for us. May we forget what is behind and look forward to Jesus as we continue to run the unique race that our Father has prepared for us.
1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (WEB)