Jesus said to him, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.
Your past does not define or control your future. Living in the memory of your former ways only hinders you from the future that God has for you. God can’t give you that future when you are looking backward. The mountains in front of you cannot be your past hurt or regret. Those mountains have no summit and the journey will drain you of life. The mountains in front of you should be growth, ministry and whatever else God has planned for you!
Do your mountains look like this?
Or do your mountains look like this?
Mountains should be beautiful challenges and opportunities for God to move. They should not be the doom and gloom of what you have done in a former life! Listen, if anyone could think himself disqualified for service in the Kingdom of God it’s me! I have been the “chief” sinner! I have done things that God abhors and yet, here I am serving him and living forward! Just the fact that I am here now, writing to you is only by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit showing me the past doesn’t disqualify me from the future that God has.
Why aren’t we fit if we are looking behind us? Our focus is in the wrong place. If I’m looking behind me I can’t get clear direction. I’m not looking at the Father, I’m looking at what is behind me. How can a soldier run into battle when he is still looking at the FOB!? (Forward Operating Base)
Philippians 3: 13-16 (Amp)
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.
What have we already attained?! The righteousness of Christ Jesus! You are clean, you are free and everything has already been done!
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
This passage comes with an if, and a big one at that! If you continue to live forward in God, if you press on and keep seeking and serving God you are holy and blameless in the sight of God! Nothing you did in the past is held against you! Why do we hold on to things we have done when the word says that God has forgotten it!?
I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
If God wants to forget our sins for His own sake, shouldn’t we? Think about that? If the God of creation deems it necessary for His own sake don’t you think it is an important principle? Does this mean that God cannot handle knowing all our sin? I highly doubt it. We are being taught a principle from our Father. He wants to move forward with you hand in hand.
What is it that keeps us in the past?
Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
God does not live in the past (even though He transcends time and space). In fact, He is almost always talking about the future, about growth, about perseverance, about hope, expectation and abundance! Sometimes we just want it to be the way it used to be! The fact is it will never happen. You have to let it go if you want what God has in store for you!
When we live in the past we start attaching things to ourselves. Regret, Un-forgiveness, betrayals, and judgment. As we focus on others or past hurts and sins it keeps us from solving our own problems. Until the focus is on God nothing can change, you cannot move, you are stuck in the past! Ever seen a car like this one?!
This is what it is like living in the past and trying to move forward!
Psalm 23:4 (Amp)
Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
This does not say to set up camp in the valley! We have to let go of our old man and our former state. We push the victory we have in Christ aside and place our focus inward. God cannot put a future in your hand if you’re hands are holding on to your past. Close the chapter! And listen, the past was yesterday. It’s done it’s over, live forward! What you are going to experience with God is more important than what you experienced yesterday! You can still be introspective and not live in your past. There may be consequences of the past you have to deal with. God may send you on some “rescue” missions but you do not live there anymore!
Give up your judgments and stop comparing yourself to others. Start gathering all that old shrapnel that has fallen from all firefights in the battlefield of your mind. Begin applying scripture to that pile of pain and hurt and regret. Melt them down and turn them into ammo. All that pain and hurt the enemy used on you is now going to be the bullets that cut him down. All that wood weighing that car down can be turned into something beautiful! Your past could be the reason someone makes a decision to follow Christ! Someone is in chains that only you can break! Drop what you are towing! Drop the weights! FORGIVE! Change the channel and quit bringing things up from the past! Quit letting those thoughts fester. Release them and move forward! When you think about people try to view all the good stuff, not the bad. Remember YOU ARE NOT THAT STORY ANYMORE! That was a different person. There is a new chapter and it has a pick your own ending! Stay in the past or live forward. Live with the shrapnel or melt it down for ammo. Allow whatever was meant to bury you bring you higher! Every setback is a set up for something better!
God loves you and has a plan for your life! Get up and start taking ground!
A successful man is one who can lay a foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him- David Brinkley