Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus(Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).
I found an awesome bible devotional a few weeks ago and it hit me like a brick, because I have an uncanny knack to remember things I need to forget and forget things I need to remember. I am blessed though because God, on the other hand, forgets what He promises to forget and remembers what He promises to remember. God said, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). Paul tells us one of the secrets to his success as a Christian and in life. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14). I wish I could say that I did that. I believed it....I just couldn't seem to get it right. Forgetting was so hard for me. In the Bible, God tells us that He “forgets” our sins and remembers them no more. That is a comforting thought. You know....there are a lot of things that begin with the words “God remembered.” “God remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1). “He (God) remembered Abraham” (Genesis 19:29). “God remembered Rachel” (Genesis 30:22). “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob” (Exodus 2:24). In each incident, God’s remembering meant that He was about to do something - God was about to act. Therefore, if God’s remembering means He is about to act, then God forgetting means that He is not going to act. “For I will forgive their wickedness,” He says, “and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). He forgets our sins – He is not going to act upon. For a long time I had a burden....I would go to the altar and pray....and the next Sunday be back up there praying again. I just did not trust God enough to handle it. Eventually my pastor told me I was telling God He was a liar. If I believed in Him...then I should believe He has it. What I was doing was plowing the ground over and over. I needed to come to a point where I could plow, plant, nurture, and see the harvest come to fruition.
Then there came a day when I asked God to help me forgive someone....and forget all the hurt. I asked God to help me cease plowing. I gave the bad memories to God....and allowed myself to replace them with healthy, good memories. Let me tell you....it was sweet release....and sweet peace. The kind of peace that allowed me to pray over him before he died and to sing at his funeral. The past was just that....past....there were sweet memories....and once I allowed God to remind me of them....I smiled. How about you today? Do you have some hurts in your life that you can't seem to let go of? Is there a field you continue to plow? I am encouraging you today to give it to God....put the hurt away....and put the plow in the barn where it belongs!