Let go of the past

 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.  Philippians 3:12-14

Have you watched the show “Hoarders’?   It’s the one with people who never throw anything away.  I once spent the day in a friend’s garage.  There is no question that it would meet the requirements for the show.

I know he grew up in the depression era, so part of me can understand him not wanting to get rid of anything.  And he loved a good deal, even if it was something he would never use.  But years and years of buying useless stuff and never throwing things away led to a huge mess.

I thought a lot about the piles of junk.   It was not his intention to allow the things of his past to ruin his present, but the things he held onto made a giant mess.

Life can become a mess when I hold on to too much stuff from the past.  Good or bad, the things in my past are just that, they are past.  Surrounding myself with my past will hinder my present, and make it even more difficult to look to the future.

That garage was a picture of what happens if I try to bring my past with me.  Some people say it is like carrying around extra baggage from the past.  I say sometimes it is like stacking up garbage all around.

Forget the former things; no future in the past
    do not dwell on the past.
 See, I am doing a new thing! 
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness 
    and streams in the wasteland

Isaiah 43:18-19

My past has made me what I am.  The good and the bad that has happened to me has shaped me into the person I am.  I cannot change any of that.  Isaiah 43 says God wants to do a new thing.  I don’t want my past to hinder my present or future anymore.  Looking backward makes it difficult to see where I am going. I want to see what God is doing now, and what he is preparing me to do in the future.  I can’t see that if I am always looking back.

God, help me forget what is behind and press on toward the goal.

 Help me not dwell on the past, so that I can see the new things you are doing.

Is there something from your past that you are bringing with you that is making your present more difficult? What have you done to help yourself not dwell on the past so you can see the new things God is doing?  I have a feeling if you leave a comment you will be helping someone else take some steps to leave their past behind and begin pressing forward again.

About the Author

Ron is happily married to his best friend, and dad to the best daughter you could imagine. As a teacher and children's pastor, he has over 20 years experience of teaching, leading, writing, creating and consulting. He has written for churches, contributed to several collaborative publications, and written a #1 Best Selling Devotional, Got Fruit? on Amazon. His blog is consistantly listed in the Top 40 Children's Ministry Blogs and Websites. Don't hesitate to ask if you think he could help you and your ministry in any way.

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