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UCB Word For You

Reaching forward

21 February 2021
‘Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal.’

We all have things in our past that play on our minds. The past is often filled with hurts others have done to us, mistakes that got us into trouble, and things we’re so ashamed of we wouldn’t dare talk openly about them. But what can we do about it? We can’t change what’s happened, so the alternatives are: focus on it, or let it go and move forwards. Focusing on the past means we take our eyes off God and His plan, and we stop moving into the future and the blessings He’s got for us. So we need to choose to move forwards. If we need forgiveness for anything in our past, we should ask God for it, receive it by faith, learn from our mistakes, and try to do better next time. Paul wrote: ‘One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (vv. 13-14 AMP). Before Paul met Christ, he imprisoned and executed Christians and shut down churches. But after, Paul had only one goal: ‘reaching forward to what lies ahead’. He refused to let his past mistakes prevent him from receiving God’s future. When we fail, we can make things worse by obsessing over it and wallowing in guilt instead of taking hold of the forgiveness God offers to us. There’s nothing we can do about past sins and mistakes except to ask God for forgiveness, receive it, let the past go, and move forwards. We have to let go of yesterday’s mistakes in order to grasp today’s blessings and enjoy the life God intended for us.

What Now?

Spend a few minutes honestly assessing whether you’re focusing too much on anything in your past. If there is, ask God for forgiveness for any mistakes, then ask Him to help you step forward confidently into the future He’s laid out for you.

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