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Forgetting What Lies Behind

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“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

If you were in a competition as a young boy or girl, or competed in any kind of sport in junior high or high school, you probably received some kind of trophy. A trophy is a physical symbol of a past victory. And years later, when that trophy is viewed, memories of the good ole’ days rush back into one’s mind. Similarly, the Apostle Paul had spiritual trophies from past victories. Paul preached and saw many come to Christ. He planted churches. All in all, he had many high spiritual mountain top experiences. But whatever accomplishments he had, he intentionally forgot about them all to pursue His personal relationship with Jesus. For you, maybe it was a mission trip several years ago, maybe it was seeing that family member come to know Jesus personally. These past victories are to be celebrated but not at the expense of following Jesus in what He desires for us today. 

What has been your perspective on past spiritual victories? Have they held you back from experiencing what God wants to do in your life today?

God’s Not Done

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“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

If you and I were to make a list of the men and women that God used powerfully throughout human history, people like Abraham, David, Peter, and the like would make the list. Undoubtedly, the Apostle Paul would also find himself in the ranks. Yet, even Paul, the man God used to write over half of the New Testament, admitted that he didn’t have it all together. In this passage, Paul confesses that his personal relationship with Jesus was growing. Paul hadn’t arrived. He didn’t think himself as perfect. He knew God wasn’t finished with him. Yet, that didn’t stop Paul from engaging passionately in God’s mission of making disciples. How often do we let our imperfections hold us back from sharing in the mission locally and globally? 

Today, is there anything you need to let go of in order to remain useful in God’s kingdom activity?

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