I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.—Philippians 3:12-14
The end of a year is a time of reflecting and remembering what God has done. But there comes a point where I say, “That was then; this is now.” And I put the past behind me. Paul says he is forgetting the past, the things that are behind. The word forget doesn’t mean to fail to remember. What it means is that Paul no longer will be influenced or affected by what happened before. To forget, then, means that we break the power of the past by living for the future.
Now that’s wonderful when we think of sin. Because when we sin and then come to God and repent of it, and He forgives us, we can trust in God’s promise: “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). God isn’t suggesting that He will experience a lapse in His memory concerning your sins. What He’s saying is that our sins no longer will affect our standing with Him or influence His attitude toward us. So if you have sinned, if you have failed this last year, you can put it behind you. You can forget the things that are behind.
Remember, to be His disciple, Jesus said we must take up the cross daily and follow Him (see Luke 9:23). Let’s not be satisfied with what has happened in the past. Forget about it and move forward.
Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order