DON’T GET STUCK IN THE PAST

Blog Banners.001A week ago, we had our annual Couples’ Getaway at Victory Fort. In the evening, we had a costume party with 70’s as the theme. Lots of couples took it so seriously that they had costumes tailor made. Now, my wife Jenn will not be left behind. And she wanted me to wear one too.

To avoid World War 3, I had to come in costume as well. Like what the Bible says, “Submit to your wife.” Oh. Doesn’t it say that?forget the past MSI copy.001

We laugh at the costumes because it’s looking fashionably old and funny. But using what we wore that night for our day to day clothing will look like blast from the past.

It’s funny when it’s mere clothing but not at all amusing when it involves life experiences.

Paul says in Philippians 3:13, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

Forgetting the past involves past successes, past failures and past hurts.

1. PAST SUCCESSES

Have you ever heard your grandfather talk about the good old days? The good old days are good but the good old days are also old. What do I mean? There are a greater things God has in store for the future. He is an “immeasurably more” kind of God as Ephesians 3:20 says.

Sometimes, the good that you accomplished in the past becomes
the hindrance to the best that God has in store for your future.

2. PAST FAILURES

We all have committed mistakes. We all have made bad decisions. Who hasn’t?
Business decisions. Relational mishaps. Financial choices.

But failure only becomes permanent
if we don’t learn anything from it.

3. PAST HURTS

Inevitably, someone will say something that will cause offense.
Someone will do something that will be extremely painful. And it’s absolutely valid that they did the very thing that has brought misery and agony.

But remember this, it is difficult to drive forward
if you are constantly looking through the rear view mirror.

Paul says to forget the past and look ahead.

We can no longer do anything about the past. But we can definitely do something about the future. And as we look to God for strength, He will overwhelm us His grace.

Lord, thank You for all that I’ve been through. The Bible says to give thanks in ALL circumstances. I’m not necessarily thankful FOR all circumstances. But I am thankful IN all circumstances. May I have an attitude of gratitude as a face life head on this week. You will go before me and You will be my rear guard. As Psalm 16 says, “Because You are at my right hand, I will never be shaken.” In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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FORGET THE PAST. LOOK FORWARD.

Have you ever tripped or bumped your head because you were walking forward but looking at someone or something behind you?

I have. Many times. And those were painful.

Bruise. Bukol. Bumps.

That’s how many of us end up in life when we walk forward looking backwards.

As the year comes to a close and a new one draws near, here’s a thought I’d like to leave with you.

“One thing I do: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

Paul’s one thing is a two-fold thing.

FORGET THE PAST.

This would include both the good and the bad part of your past.

The good? Yup, this includes the achievements, successes, accomplishments.

Imagine a basketball player talking about a buzzer beater shot he made to win the game
2 years ago but is currently playing in the finals game.
It’s great to remember the past, but living in the past is silly.
Reliving the past will not help you win the present.
There are new battles to face and new victories to be won.

Sometimes, the good that you accomplished in the past becomes the hindrance to the best that God has in store for your future.

The bad? Indeed.
I realize that it’s hard to forget certain things. Especially, the painful ones.
False accusations. Broken relationships. Sexual abuse. Business failure. Marriage separation.
However, Paul’s exhortation to forget the past implies to not get stuck.
Don’t get stuck in the past.

You’ve seen people live life playing the victim card.
It’s always someone else’s fault.
“The reason I am who I am today and the reason I am where I am today is because of this other person’s fault.”

Remember, It is difficult to drive forward if you are constantly looking through the rear view mirror.

LOOK FORWARD.

Heather Dorniden ran the NCAA Big Ten 600m race for University of Minnesota in 2008. Her coach would often tell her, ‘Sometimes you don’t know if you have a next year or even a tomorrow, so just go out there and run it the best that you can.’”

It was the final heat and when the trigger was pulled, she was doing well, until her feet got tangled up with another’s and tripped.
She had a choice at the moment.
She could’ve stayed on the ground and pulled out the victim card.
“It’s not my fault. That girl tripped me! I am losing the race because of her!”

She didn’t allow her self to get sucked into that.
She brushed the dirt off of her and picked herself up.
She started running again, kept looking forward and miracle of all miracles, ended up winning the race.

You have no control over what happens to you
but you have control over how you respond to what happens to you.

Forget the past. Look forward to what lies ahead.

Remember, with God, the best is always yet to come.

Happy New Year!