“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 3:13b-14
Just over twenty years ago I bought a brand new car. It was nice. I planned to take really good care of it and drive it forever, but 342,000 miles later it blew a cylinder and that was it. Two days later I replaced it with another car. I took a picture of the old car as it left on a flatbed tow truck. Friends ask me if I miss the old car? My answer is, “Not really. It served me well, but I’m not looking back. I’m focused on what lies ahead with my new car.”
The Apostle Paul encourages us similarly in our Christian walk. It’s all about moving forward, not looking back. In the verses just before the passage listed above, Paul writes, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:10-12).
It’s not that we can’t learn from the past. Psalm 143:5 says, “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Remembering God’s historical work has great value, but Paul’s point is that, as works in progress, we need to keep on pressing on to the higher calling of our Lord.
Don’t look back. Keep pressing on, making your lifelong pursuit to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.