Forgetting What Lies Behind


Paul presses on and reaches forward and upward to win the prize that God offers because of what Jesus has done.

“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.”  (Philippians 3:13-14, AMP)


This verse is a continuation of Paul’s discussion about striving for moral and spiritual resurrection with Jesus Christ, and his pursuit of spiritual growth and perfection. He knows there is more to learn, but he is single-minded in his focus to keep growing in Christ.  He refers to his one aspiration.  Webster’s Dictionary defines “aspiration” as: a strong desire, longing, yearning or craving.  Paul’s aspiration is the heavenly prize of salvation, eternity in heaven with Christ.  He tells us that he has chosen to forget the past and everything in the past.  He presses on and reaches forward and upward to win the prize that God offers because of what Jesus has done.

I’m puzzled by the number of Christians who spend time looking over their shoulder, into the past with regrets, condemnation and guilt.  Paul tells us to look and reach in one direction and one only, forward and upward.  It seems we spend too much time focused on Facebook, photo albums, old cards and letters, personal mementos, trophies, certificates, plaques, and medals that commemorate our past.  In a similar fashion, we focus on our present circumstance and compare ourselves and our circumstances with others. I confess, I have an intense desire, and longing for heaven. While I am happy with my life here on earth, it pales in my excitement when I think about spending eternity in heaven with Jesus.

Child of God, what is your focus?  What are you looking at and reaching for?  Are you looking backwards and consumed with the things of the past, or focused on your path forward and upward?  I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you set your mind, heart and spirit on Jesus. Turn to Him.  Look and reach up! 


Father, thank you for the life-transforming power of your Living Word.  Continue to use the Holy Spirit to convict, teach, and instruct me in the path that leads to your perfect call for my life.  Help me press on, look forward, and reach upward to Jesus at all times. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

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