Keeping the past behind

Gen 19.15-26 and Phil 3.7-14

There is a good reason why windscreens are bigger than rear view mirrors. It’s more important for a driver to see what’s in front than what’s behind. If someone decided that what was behind was more important they would want to make the mirror the size of the windscreen, but doing that would make it impossible to see in front and the driver would not be able to move forward.
Christians are people trying to get somewhere, but so often we let our past (what’s behind) mess up our future (what’s in front). We are supposed to be encouraging others and ministering to them, but all we can talk about is what “so and so did to me”. Lot’s wife was warned not to look back, not to dwell on the past, but did and became a pillar of salt – something that is stuck and bitter.

Forgiveness is a vital part of moving forward. When we forgive someone that rear view mirror is minimized to the proportion it is meant to be. But for this to have real effect; for us to be free; forgiveness must be from the heart. Here we have to hold our hearts before the Lord in prayer and confess what is found in them.
Some find it easy to forgive, others find it hard, why is this? The Bible actually tells us. In Lk 7.36-50 we come across the woman who was forgiven much and so loved much. Loving someone includes forgiving them. When we realize how much we have been forgiven it’s easier for us to forgive. In fact we could say that to be unforgiving is to be self-righteous. If you struggle to forgive, try reminding yourself in prayer of all the things Jesus has forgiven you; then try forgiving that person again.

Fear of failure also holds us from moving forward. Often we say ‘’I can’t; it’s who I am”, “my family’s not musical”, “I’m the shy type”, “I can’t stand kids”, ‘’I’ve given up on marriage”, ‘’I was never academic”. We import the past into our future closing off the precious new possibilities. Don’t let who you’ve been stop what you can be.

Christians are called to be a people of hope and a future (Jer 29.11). Like Paul we need to forget what’s behind and lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of us (Phil 3.12-14).
Satan will try to block our path like he tried with Jesus; and when he does we are to respond the same way “Get behind me Satan”. In other words: “get out my way and stay behind; get out of my windscreen and into my review mirror!” I challenge you to put the past behind you, and to lay hold of the future!

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