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Leave the Past Behind

A quote attributed to Ann Landers says, "Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead; that is where your future lies." It is a humorous visual. Who would want to live life backwards? Yet, many of us get caught up in thinking more about the past than we do the future.

I've been spending a lot of time, recently, thinking about the past. There were good times that I miss and there are things I wish I had done differently. I can spend hours thinking about what I should have said or how I should have acted differently. The regret of mistakes can quickly obliterate any pleasant memories and ambition for the future. Stewing over those regrets - guilt - is Satan's goal for me. Living in the past with its pain and failure keeps me from making the most of my life today. The truth that Satan doesn't want me to remember is that my past is forgiven. I have confessed and repented and Jesus paid the price. God doesn't count any of those mistakes against me and neither should I. (Psalm 32:1-2) He has given me a new life - a fresh start. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Dwelling in the past blinds me to the present and keeps me from focusing on what lies ahead.

Philippians 3:13-14 speaks of "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." It talks of pressing on "toward the goal to win the prize." The prize is life in all its glory. It is the life that God has planned for me.

According to Ephesians 2:10, God has put me in this place, at this time because he has things for me to do. They are referred to as "good works." Those good works may put me in the public eye or they may seem to be of little value. There is a neighbor who needs a cheerful word, a friend who needs a phone call. There is someone who longs to be noticed. Whatever my works are, they are of great value in God's Kingdom. The filling of seemingly small needs may be as important as the funding of a mission trip to a desolate country.

God has uniquely designed me and there are good works that are tailor made for me. My job is to put the past behind me and to eagerly look to God for my future.

God has called me heavenward to exciting possibilities - good works he prepared for me in advance.


What can you do?

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