“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14).
Paul was very aware that the things of his past weren't beneficial in helping him attain His goal for the future, which was now aligned with Christ’s goal. Paul had every reason to be confident in his past…a Hebrew of Hebrews…a Pharisee…one of the God’s chosen in Israel…faultless in the law. But as he walked the road to Damascus, Christ reached down and took hold of Paul. He was struck down, temporarily blinded and his life was turned upside down. For Paul to get his bearings he knew he could only do one thing: take hold of Christ. It was that day that Christ Jesus revealed that everything in his past was null and void. It was that experience that showed the truth of Paul’s life and how he would be transformed.
For the majority of my adult life there were attitudes and beliefs that I thought were moving me along in a positive way. It wasn’t until God pursued a loving and intimate relationship in 2006 that awakened me from my ineffective and misguided behavior.
My insecurities had me press into the acceptance of others and the importance of their approval. My fear of being rejected was always at the base of my heart and directed my decisions. Once Christ took hold of my heart, these things in my past no longer worked. It seemed that many of my former decisions were centered around what I needed, instead of what God desired. Now, I try to look ahead with the plans and purposes of God instead of my own. Some days it is a strain to see how all of this will play out in the end as I look towards the future. But as my confidence in Christ increases the confidence in my own abilities seem to decrease. I know that as long as I reach out to Christ, I will be led and transformed as I move closer to the day when He takes me home.
We all have things in our past that won’t work once we press into our relationship with God. Whatever attitudes we must leave behind will be replaced with the renewal of our minds and the transformation of our hearts. As long as we are on this earth, let us keep moving forward towards the purposes of God and away from the emptiness of the flesh.