Letting go of the past is hard to do but the past can keep us as believers from moving forward. The past is one of Satan's favorite weapons. We all make mistakes but we can't change the past. I know many people who live in the past and dwell on past mistakes. I know believers who have said, "I've made so many mistakes that God will never forgive me." Others say, "If you knew the mistakes I've made in the past you'd never want me to do this service or ministry from God." We all fail. We all make mistakes but living in the past hinders our faith and a healthy relationship with God and Christ.
Listen to what the Message translation says in Philippians 3:12-ff: "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderously
reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.
So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision- you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, lets stay on it.
Stick with me friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sad, I'm having to do it again. All they want is the easy street. They hate Christ's cross. But easy street is a dead end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Mast, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies of His own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful
skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around Him."
Paul mentions that he is off and running and he's not looking back. Paul could have stopped running if looking back he would have allowed Satan to get him to only live in the past.
So many things could in his past could have caused his faith to shatter. Paul could have been the prime example of what to avoid as a Christian yet Paul let go of the past mistakes and pressed on toward Christ and heaven. What a powerful testimony to us all!
The questions I want us to discuss are: Why does Satan use past as a powerful weapon? What happens to Christians if they live in the past? What happens to our faith if we get caught up in the past? Can churches get caught up in the past? What happens to churches when they do? Have you known a Christian who gave up because of past mistakes or living in the past? How do we let go of the past? How do we fix our eye on Jesus and reach toward Christ? What has helped you live for the moment and future?