By Chow Ee-Tan
Forgetting What is Behind
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. – Philippians 3:13-14
Our Christian life is a journey, or rather, a marathon. The finish line would be when we reach our eternal home – heaven. This journey on earth is not easy – there are always ups and downs, with good times and tough times along the way. Being in our human flesh and weakness, sometimes we feel like giving up.
The only thing that can get us going and persevere is to fix our eyes on the goal, which is our eternal home when we will be in the presence of our God and creator. But it seems an arduous and long journey. Although Christians are called to be like Christ, in our flesh, we continue to make mistakes, and to sin. In fact, we will never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before God. But we are called to persevere.
The Apostle Paul knew it, and in writing to the Philippians, encouraged and challenged them to look forward and not backward.
Paul recalled his past when he was hostile to Christianity and persecuted the early Christians violently. He also played a part in the stoning of Stephen. He was the enemy of Christianity until His personal encounter with Christ. He could have let the guilt and shame of what he did cripple him and haunt him. But he didn’t. Instead, he said we should forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead.
Yes, we all have our pasts and we all have sinned in one way or another. They can be painful and shameful, and from time to time such memories arise to haunt us. The Devil would use this against us and whispers to us that we are not worthy because we have fallen short so much. One thing we should not do is to wallow in our past sins. When we have repented sincerely and resolved to move on, we ought not to look back and be burdened with the weight of the past failures.
God has promised us in Scripture: “when we confess and repent of our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9) Therefore, we should not let yesterday’s failure to derail us from the goal for which God has called us, instead to diligently strive forward with our spiritual muscle to pursue and to persevere in the journey that God has intended for us.
We are living in a temporal world, only what is eternal matters and will last forever. So let us fix our eyes on the Cross and the eternal crown. We have the Holy Spirit’s help and God’s strength to spur us on, and even though we may still falter from time to time, we can carry on and not lose sight of that eternal destination.
Because as Christians, what we most long to hear one day is when Jesus welcomes us in heaven saying: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know I’m weak but You’re strong. You’re a merciful God who has forgiven all my sins – past, present and future. I pray that as I walk with You this journey on earth, You will give me the strength to carry on this marathon and never to give up. And whatever sins that I have committed in the past, I have laid them at Your feet. Let me forget what is behind but fix my eyes on what is ahead, so that I will win the prize when I meet You one day. In Jesus name, Amen.
腓立比书3：13-14 “弟兄们、我不是以为自己已经得着了．我只有一件事、就是忘记背后努力面前的、向着标竿直跑、要得 神在基督耶稣里从上面召我来得的奖赏。”
我们的基督徒生活就像是一次旅程，或者更确切地说，是一场马拉松。终点线将是当我们到达我们永恒的家园——天堂。地球上的这段旅程并不容易 – 总是有起有落，一路上有美好的时光也有艰难的时候。在我们的肉身和弱点中，有时我们想放弃。
神在圣经中应许我们：“我们若认自己的罪、 神是信实的、是公义的、必要赦免我们的罪、洗净我们一切的不义。”。 （约翰一书1:9）因此，我们不应让昨天的失败使我们偏离神呼召我们的目标，而是要用我们的属灵力量努力前行，去追求并持守神为我们所定的旅程。