You have to leave the past behind and go forward into Christ. It’s all about us realizing we need to “press on”.
Look, I have no qualms with the statement in itself but I think having pondered the sermons and blogs and Scriptures that it’s really not as easy as it looks on paper or out of the mouths of pastors.
The most quoted verse…which I love by the way…is:
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. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
Now, as I study it, I take away that we are to forget the sins and mistakes of our past and look at Christ, accept His forgiveness and move forward into the new life he plans for us.
The struggle I face sometimes is that the enemy will torment through circumstances of your own creation.
For example, most nights, I’m home alone.
Now, I know God’s forgiven me for mistakes I’ve made in my past. I know that there are things that have happened where things were done by other people that contributed to my current situation that were beyond my control. All of those things are “lying behind” me and as I “press on” toward becoming more Christ-like those things cannot create more damage in and of themselves than has already been done to me.
However, I cannot fail to recognize my mistakes, my sins, my poor decisions contributed to where I am. Yes, God allowed it. Ultimately, He could swoop in and make it all good as new. He’s chosen to let me feel the consequences of my sins and mistakes. I’ve learned lessons. Good has come from it.
I still get very lonely.
I still feel the anxiety that comes from knowing at that moment there’s no one you can turn to without waking someone up at 2 AM.
As much as we can say God provides comfort (and He does through the Holy Spirit) we’re going to have those times when we cannot deny the truth in the accusations of the enemy that our actions led to where we are. The sorrow we feel that drive us to repentance can sometimes be a powerful weapon against us.
And when what’s behind defines what’s here now, and you know that to deny it would be a lie, it makes it very hard to press on at times.
So if you’re like me and you hear the sermons and read the blogs and get the “pep talks” from well meaning brothers and sisters in Christ and you still get depressed or anxious or frustrated or discouraged, it’s OK. You’re human. It’s going to happen. Keep pressing on into Christ and realize that for some of us the race is going to be longer, harder and with more uphill climbs than others. In the end, the prize is worth it.