Don't Trip Over Your Past

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”

Philippians 3:13

Whenever I read this verse in Philippians 3 I am reminded how difficult it is to back into your future. Have you ever watched people back up a car or try to parallel park? I enjoy watching grown men attempt to back up a trailer attached to their vehicle, be it at the dump or the lake trying to put a boat in the water. Backing anything up to get where you are going is difficult at best and when it comes to our faith it is impossible yet it seems like so many people try to move into their future by trying to navigate their past.

The apostle Paul was very zealous about his religion before encountering Jesus Christ and in his attempt to live by the law he destroyed a lot of innocent people’s lives. It was nothing for the man named Saul who became Paul to travel 300 miles to hunt down Christians and drag them back to Jerusalem to be put on trial. He even stood by and held the coats of those who stoned Stephen to death we read in the book of Acts.

How does the most feared man in Christianity who single handedly tried to destroy the Christian faith become one of its most trusted spokespersons? I personally believe the book of Philippians was not only written by the apostle Paul but it was inspired by God for him as he needed to look forward and not backwards if he was going to become all that God wanted him to be.

Meeting Jesus changed everything for the Saul. He became a new creation in Christ where the old things passed away and everything became new! He even got a new name, Paul. The gift of new life that Jesus offers us comes with the freedom to move forward and not look back. If you are in Christ today you are not what you once were. You have been born again and now all things are new. You no longer have a past but you have a future and a hope.

Its true, loved one, you can't undue the past, you can't relive it either. What you can and must do is press on to what lies ahead and walk and live by faith. The best is yet to be for those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus. Determine to do each day what the apostle Paul did. Philippians 3:7-10 says it best, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Let the past go and live!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

2 Corinthians 5:17  


Michael Osthimer





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