“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.” – Phillipians 3:12-14
This past weekend was one of the best that I have had in a very long time. On Sunday, many friends and family joined us as we celebrated the dedication of our new church, Acres of Hope Christian Fellowship, and my official ordination as pastor. As I spoke these words from the book of Phillipians, I was again reminded of everything that the Lord has done in my life over the past year.
It has been a long journey, heartbreaking at times, but through it all, the Lord sustained me through the love, support, and edification of my family, friends, and co-workers in Christ. We all have had many opportunities to become stuck in the miry pits of discouragement and bitterness, yet each time any one of us found ourselves sinking, the Lord led us ever onward and upward.
Forgetting the past doesn’t negate our testimonies, nor our memories of the people and places that have comprised the stories of our lives; rather, it involves leaving behind the hurts and heartbreaks of our past, however recent or remote. We may carry our scars, our limps, our still raw wounds, but we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
We may not have arrived yet, but we cast our cares on Him, lay aside the sins and burdens that so easily hinder us, and run the race with the complete freedom that is found in Jesus Christ.