Day 16 – January 21
Philippians 3:12-16(NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Can you see the finish line? Only 5 days left in our wonderful journey. In this process, we have dedicated ourselves, our families and our church family to God and His Kingdom! The fast is fast approaching the finish line but our spiritual journey continues. Here’s my question, do you want to finish well, not just this fast, but your spiritual race? I believe we all want to finish well. So, what can we do, so that at the end of our race, we receive that heavenly prize?
There’re several action steps we see in these verses. We press to possess the mark of perfection, we focus to forget the past, we look to what lies ahead, we run to receive the prize and we hold on to the progress we have made! We haven’t arrived at perfection yet, but we continue to reach for it. This is not perfectionism from a human standpoint, this is being made perfect by Jesus. How does He do that? He allows us to be placed in situations and circumstances where we must embrace His character and allow His nature to shine through.
We do that, by forgetting the past. You cannot run forward by looking backward! Some people are haunted by their past and they are trying to navigate life by looking in the rear view mirror yet driving forward. That’s why they continually run into things and run over people. You have to look into the direction you want to go instead of the direction you came from. Our past should serve as a learning point not a reference point. We should learn from the mistakes we have made in the past or even from the good things we have done in the past, but we should never get stuck in the past.
This applies both to the good and the bad. Some people have a great history, so they longingly look back and think of the “good old days” and wish to repeat them. The problem with that is, that it robs us from a hopeful future. You cannot find hope in your past, you can only find hope in your future. In the same way, others are stuck with the regret of the past. If only “I didn’t do that” or “if this did not happen” or “that did not take place” then things would be better. It happened! You did it, you didn’t do it, whatever your regrets of the past, it cannot be undone. But here’s what you can do: Focus all your energies to forget and to look to your future not your past.
Then start running, towards that heavenly prize. The past is a weight that hinders us from running with endurance. The further you want to travel the lighter you need to be. The Bible in the Book of Hebrews chapter 12, talks about laying aside the weight that so easily hinders us and the need to strip down, so we can run! Marathon runners do not try to wear as much as possible, they try to wear as little as possible. In Ancient Greek times, they ran with a loin cloth or even naked. I am not suggesting you do the same, I do, however, recommend that you remove all emotional hinderances of your present or past to move into your God ordained future.
WE CALL THAT MATURITY! It enables you to hold on to the progress you have made, instead of 2 steps forward and 3 steps backward. We steadily make progress and keep the ground that we have gained, and we refuse to be trapped in an unending cycle of regret. We press, we focus, we forget, we look, we reach, and we keep moving forward.
What are you holding onto that you need to let go of? What are your thoughts focused on; your past or on your future? The prize is waiting for you, keep running…
- Pray and ask the Lord Jesus to supernaturally enable you to focus on forgetting the past, good or bad. Then let it go…
- Ask the Lord to forgive you of anything that hinders you from embracing the future He has for you.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you endurance for your race.
- Prayer: “Father, thank You for helping me not to dwell on the past, nor to sit in the present, but enable me to press towards my future in You. Give me eyes to see the prize that You have laid up for me. Where I fail to see Your plan, make it plain to me. Restore my hope for the future and help me hold on to the progress I have made. Thank You for Your grace, that enables me to keep pressing on! In Jesus Name. Amen…