Phil 3:13-14 “But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In this week’s episode of Kingdom Insights, Lady Janet and I explore this often quoted verse. Speaking here is the Apostle Paul, who had QUITE a past to put behind him…. On one hand, Paul was formerly a pharisee, proud of his heritage as a man from the Tribe of Benjamin, known for his righteousness and zeal. On the other hand, Paul completely missed the message of the messiah Jesus, and was persecuting His church and bringing great harm to men, women and children who were mostly also Jews. In the verses before this, Paul tells how he takes no pride in religious achievements… Every thought is pressing on to be all Paul can be In Jesus. To be identified IN HIM. To do Kingdom Exploits IN HIM. To walk closer closer WITH HIM. And the fruit in this complex man’s life after meeting Christ was incredible.
So maybe we can also apply this verse to our weekly practice of discipleship. Like Paul, did you do something notable in the Kingdom recently? Don’t let it puff you up, focus on Jesus because it is only in HIM that you were able to bear fruit. Did you sin last week? Forget it. Repent (Change your thinking) put it under the blood of Jesus, and move on. Don’t let you failure hold you back. The things in our past are useful to remember if they bring us Joy, teach us wisdom, or give us a testimony to build our faith and the authority found in struggles overcame. But DON’T let the past color today in a negative way. Each New day we can walk with Jesus, enjoy the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and learn the ways of the Father God and His word. THAT is what Paul is sharing.
In addition to applying this to your personal discipleship, as we enter the Holiday season, many of us will have attend gatherings with various people, and we can apply this there as well. Some we meet may be friends, some relatives, some may praise us, others may be critics or even enemies out to do us harm. BUT – what if we tried to put the past behind us with these people as well? Do we keep aunt Susie in a box because of something she did 20 years ago, ignoring the person she has become walking with Jesus? Do we judge the lifestyle of those who do not walk with Jesus? .. maybe we should remember we too once needed a savior and show them the love an light of Jesus. We can help them all overcome the past behind them and come to know and walk with Jesus…..