Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 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.
Forget What is Behind
I loved going to summer camp when I was a kid. We had so much fun outdoors playing all kinds of games and sports. One summer, we spent much of our time playing football. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The problem was that there were several trees between the cabins where we were playing. During one particular game I ran out for a pass and was looking back at the quarterback. I didn’t turn around quickly enough and I ran smack into a tree. It is not a good idea to look backwards when you are running.
The same holds true in our lives of faith. If we are going to live our lives for Jesus, we can’t be looking back. This can only cause us to lose direction and get us into trouble. However, that is easier said than done. It is so easy for us to look back either in pride or regret. At times we look back in pride and admire all the wonderful things we have done. At other times we look back and despair over how terrible our sins are, and we are filled with guilt and regret. Either way, we are prevented from focusing on the goal.
Rather than look behind, God’s Word encourages us to keep our eyes ahead and focus on our Savior, Jesus. He lived, died, and rose again to take all our sins away and to give us the free gift of eternal life in heaven. Our past accomplishments cannot save us, and our past sins have been washed away in the blood of Jesus. So, forget what is behind and focus on the heavenly goal that Jesus has won for you!
Dear Jesus, thank you for winning heaven for me. Help me to forget what is behind and to look forward to what is ahead. Amen.