“Leave Your Past in the Past”
Philippians 3:13–14 says, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
When Paul was a young man named Saul of Tarsus, he held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen (one of the Churches’ first deacons) to death. (See Acts 6:3–5.) Saul also gained letters from the religious leaders to persecute Christians and to jail them and kill them, if at all possible. But after he turned his life over to the Lord, he went on to establish many churches and to cover the land with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul looked at the past and said, “I don’t consider myself to have arrived, but this one thing I do. I take the things which are behind and I leave them in the past.” One of the best things you can do with your past is to surrender it to God. If Paul could surrender his past, then you can surrender your past too. He said, “I don’t consider myself to be anybody special. I’m just a man serving God. But this one thing I do. I put the past in the past.”
Are you expecting God to do something new and miraculous in your life? Well how can you receive something new until you put the old things away? How can you wave goodbye to your past until you let it go? And how do you let it go? You turn it loose and give it all to God. You don’t have to live with the burdens of the past anymore. Instead, you can wave goodbye to your past and look ahead to the new things the Lord has in store for you!
Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. — Isaiah 43:19