The Apostle Paul gives us some amazing advice on how to fulfill our purpose and destiny as followers of Christ:
Philippians 3:12–14 (ESV):
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
“Forgetting what lies behind”– Shame, regret and unforgiveness can be an overwhelming weight to our souls. Paul stands as a great example in releasing sin and shame and leaving it at the foot of the cross. Prior to his conversion to Christ, Saul/Paul was a violent persecutor of Christians. The scripture says that he actually revelled in the stoning to death of Stephen the first martyr and actually dragged men and WOMEN off to prison for worshipping Christ. Once you “see” something, it’s hard to “unsee” it. Agreed? How much of an anchor and weight must it been for Paul to forget the face of Stephen or the screams of women torn away from their children. I’m guessing Paul had to preach the gospel to himself every morning and actively receive new mercy each morning (Lamentations 3:23-24) How about the Apostle Peter? Denied Jesus 3 times! The third time, the Gospel of Luke records that Jesus locked eyes with Peter and immediately the rooster crowed. Can you imagine the shame and condemnation that would try to overwhelm Peter every morning the rooster crowed thereafter? Peter too, had to preach the gospel to himself and “forget what’s behind” in order to strain forward. What do you need to leave behind?
“Straining forward to what lies ahead”– Not only can the baggage of the past sideline you, but the fear of what tomorrow holds can be overwhelming! The word “ahead” refers to what is directly in front of you. Do we plan for the future? Absolutely. But we must LIVE in the present. Today is all we have – tomorrow is God’s business. Have you ever considered Moses? Responsible for 2-3 million people wandering in a desert! Experts say Moses and God’s people would have required:
-2,000 tons of food per day
-4,000 tons of wood each day
-11 million gallons of water each day
Can you say overwhelming?!! Yet Moses learned to trust God for the day and leave tomorrow in His hands. May God give you faith for today, and leave tomorrow to HIM.