“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
Things in the past linger; we rehash them over and over again. And, rightly, sometimes we need to reflect on past lessons so we can grow and learn.
I’m glad Paul struggled with this idea too. He recognized that he needed to grow; he hadn’t achieved perfection. In fact, he admitted that he still had a long way to go. Yet, he vowed to press forward. He wouldn’t allow the past to paralyze him. He focused on what was ahead – God was calling him forward, cheering him on to the end of the race. Paul wanted the prize of heaven, gained because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus Christ purchased his salvation and Paul desperately desired that salvation to make him more like his Lord.
I want that too. Let’s ask the Lord to help us live out these verses – however long it takes. Forgetting the past and pressing forward, so that the salvation that Jesus achieved for us is evident in our everyday living.