It’s another day—another year, 2023. At the beginning of every year, I ask myself, “Where did last year go? It passed so quickly.” We live in such a fast-paced world that you may have had the same thoughts.
January is inventory time for many stores. It is a time that most of us take inventory of our lives. We look at what we accomplished during the past year. We also look at the unfinished business we desired to complete, but because of time restraints or other reasons, we were unable to complete those goals.
Instead of celebrating what I call “wins,” we focus on our “losses.” You may have made wrong decisions last year. Those decisions may have cost you dearly. Perhaps it wasn’t a financial loss, but the results of those decisions affect your present circumstances. Know that you can gain experience from the past but you cannot undo it.
It is important to let go of the past in your thought life because that is the only place it can exist. The past does not define you, so don’t allow it to destroy you. Use it as a strengthening tool. The Apostle Paul has a powerful word concerning this.
Philippians 3:12–14 (NLT) says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
The past does not define you, so don’t allow it to destroy you. Use it as a strengthening tool.
God has assignments for each of us to accomplish for Him. One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ ” The enemy would try to keep you looking at your failures. He would endeavor for you to focus on your past mistakes. If you are constantly looking backward, it is impossible to go forward.
In my teachings, I often illustrate endeavoring to walk forward while looking backward. It is a vivid illustration of while looking backward, the forward motion is significantly slowed down, if not even causing tripping and falling. That is exactly what happens in your life. Looking back at the past can cause the future God has planned for you to either be significantly slower in coming to pass or even coming to a complete halt.
It is important to take the Apostle Paul’s advice about forgetting the past. He chose to forget how he had persecuted the Christians. And he chose to forget the successes he had experienced for God. We can also be stymied by continually looking at our past successes instead of pressing on to the next assignment God has for us.
God’s thoughts about you are higher than your thoughts. The thoughts I had planned for my journey in life working for the Lord certainly fell short of what God had planned. However, in following God’s plans, the journey has not always been easy.
I well understand the words penned by the Apostle Paul, “I press on.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines press as “to act upon through steady pushing or thrusting force; to take by authority.”
On my journey, I have had to completely immerse myself in God’s Word and claim the authority He has given us through our Lord and Savior.
The enemy is always there to scream in your ear that you are a failure and will never succeed in life. At times it is necessary to scream in his ear that you cannot go under for going over by quoting the promises of God. It is of utmost importance that you immerse yourself in the Word daily. It is also important to make a daily habit of communing with the Lord in prayer.
The Lord is there to lead you and guide you daily. He wants to be involved in every decision you make. Proverbs 3:5 (TPT) says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.” When you involve the Lord in your decisions, He always has the right solution.
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