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Forgetting to go Forward
SUNDAY, APRIL 12, 2009
Posted by: Eastland Baptist Church | more..
3,100+ views | 130+ clicks
One of the most often rehearsed quotes from the lips of the apostle Paul can be found in the third chapter of the book of Philippians. After listing all the things he has been through-both good and bad-he reaffirms his intention to continue to pursue Christ by saying, "...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." When we consider this text, we usually consider Paul's exclusive focus ("this one thing I do"). We are inspired by someone who is following, reaching and pressing toward the finish line despite life's challenges. However, in the examination of the text we often fail to consider the imperative word that makes his strivings possible; it is the word "forgetting." Paul was a deliberate and intentional forgetter. One of the things that keeps so many people from going forward is their unwillingness to forget or set aside things in their past. Many are unwilling to forget their prosperity, position, and possessions in order to fully follow Christ. Paul, no doubt, had all these things. He was a Pharisee, and man of prominence, and it can be assumed that a good life was attached to these things. But Paul considered them waste and dung in comparison to living for Christ. Today, too many of us may have worldly attachments that keep us from serving Christ, and we may need to learn to forget them just as Paul was willing to do. We also have to learn to be willing to forget our pains and problems. Many Christians cannot go forward in their walk with Christ until they are willing to lay aside some hurt, offense or problem. Like a computer that has locked up because of a problem it cannot resolve, we too often get stuck on the last things we can't seem to get over. The result is a heart that is not focused on Christ, a spirit unable to pursue right things, and an attitude that lacks grace and peace. Forgetting past hurts, offenses, problems and failures is necessary in order to genuinely press toward the mark of Christ-likeness. It is required that we learn from life's injuries, but we do not have to be held captive by them. Forgetting is often the prerequisite to going forward. As we follow the example of the Apostle Paul and echo his words of "this one thing I do," let's not miss the point that in order to reach ahead and press forward it may be necessary to forget to go forward.

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