How to Stop Looking Backward
One of the challenges and privileges of the Christian life is the opportunity to “look ahead” or to “look forward”. Here is what Paul writes in verse 12-14 of chapter 3: “12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In serving an eternal God we have the knowledge that when we look ahead we know that God is already there. Paul says that he is laying hold of that which Christ has laid hold of him. Jesus is already in Paul’s future, working in that future; guiding Paul toward that future. It is very easy for us to focus on what has already happened or that which is in the past. But I think that Paul gives us a way to help avoid looking backward. Paul says that he is forgetting those things which are behind. How is he able to do that? After all, he had some really difficult things to forget. I think that he was able to forget what was behind because he was reaching forward to what had not yet happened. I believe that as we reach ahead, we are better equipped to stop looking behind. If we are stationary, then we are more likely to look backward. Paul has decided to press on and I believe that the pressing on helps him to not look back. I’m not saying that looking back is always bad. Looking back can help us evaluate what lies ahead and our actions about that. However, I want to ask you to consider how you are looking forward. Are you looking to that which Christ has “laid hold of” for you? God desires to use you. He has a plan for you…something that has not yet happened. Please be excited about God’s future for you. You won’t regret it.