Philippians 3:13 NET
Today I continue with four points on how to move forward towards your future filled with hope. Here’s the third point:
3. Forgetting the things that are behind.
There are some important things to note about forgetting the past in order to move forward:
#1 Don’t settle for what you think is great.
Focusing on past failures or successes will hold you captive and prevent you from moving forward. Lot and his family were living in a very ungodly city and they probably didn’t even realize how much the bad company was corrupting them (Genesis 19). God decided to destroy the city and sent angels to get them out of the city before it was destroyed – you’d think that they would be happy about being rescued from the destruction they were in and the destruction that was coming! But Mrs. Lot had trouble letting go. They were commanded to let go, leave and not look back, but Mrs. Lot was so focused on what she was leaving behind that she turned back and died by turning into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26)! Don’t be like Mrs. Lot. You may believe that what you have is good, but that is because you aren’t seeing what God has for you. As Jim Collins says: Good is the enemy of great.
#2 Forgive others.
Unforgiveness towards others prevents us from moving forward because it actually focuses our attention on the wrong thing: ourselves. We end up being consumed with what they did to ME. We constantly think about how much we are in pain, and are suffering. Hebrews 10:17 says that God does not remember our sin. When we remember the sins and offenses of others, we are being ungodly (unlike God). We often harbour unforgiveness, thinking that it’s punishing the person for the wrong they have done. You may have been completely right and they might have been completely wrong, but the person that is being affected mosty by your unforgiveness is you. It’s allowing other people to take up space and attention in your heart and mind which you should be using to focus on fulfilling your destiny. Unforgiveness is basically just a form of hatred. It’s keeping you captive and can prevent you from receiving from God and experiencing His blessing. Hear me: God isn’t punishing you for your unforgiveness. You are punishing yourself and preventing yourself from being in position to receive God’s blessing. When we harbour bitterness and unforgiveness, it often causes us to live in torment, sickness, pain and suffering because we are rejecting the blessing of God and stopping it from flowing freely in our lives. Forgiveness is a choice. And that choice is easier when we realize how much God love us and has forgiven us, and when we receive and experience that love and forgiveness for ourselves.
#3 Forgive yourself.
Harbouring unfogiveness towards ourselves (self-condemnation) is a sure invitation for the demonic to run amok in your life. It’s deadly. You may have messed up and done the most stupid and terrible things possible, but beating yourself up about it isn’t helping you – it’s making matters worse. Jesus was beaten for your imperfection so that you wouldn’t have to be punished. When you beat yourself up, you’re saying that Jesus’ beating wasn’t enough – you’re not accepting His sacrifice and you’re trying to pay for your own redemption. Hebrews 10:17 says that God does not remember our sin. When we remember our sins and offenses we are being ungodly (unlike God). God, the Creator of all things and Lord of the universe, has forgiven you and declares you innocent (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 10:17). God isn’t holding anything against you, or anyone for that matter (2 Corinthians 5:19). Who are you to think that you have the right to hold something against yourself? You may deserve punishment and condemnation because of your imperfections, but Jesus took what you deserve so that you could get what He deserves (2 Corinthians 5:21). To move forward towards your future filled with hope, you need to see yourself as God sees you: forgiven, acquitted and innocent!