Lose The Thoughts Of Yesterday Or Lose Your Mind
13 “I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 Amplified Bible
Paul was referring to having not yet obtained the perfection in the Christ, the full maturity in Him, but it was what he strived for. There will always be a part of that perfection in Christ that we will not obtain in this life because while He is perfect, we live in this fallen world. There will always be more for us to learn. You can hear the elusiveness in Paul’s words as he expresses that he has not yet “captured” this maturity in Christ. But Paul was not at all discouraged by this. In fact, he was encouraged by the awareness that no matter how good things were in His life, there were always more good things to seek after and obtain.
Paul was always striving to move forward and procure the next good thing Jesus had for him. Then regarding his quest for continued growth in Jesus he says that there is one driving force behind him, one solitary factor that keeps him moving forward to lay hold of the next thing in Jesus. That one thing is forgetting what is behind. Paul says that he forgets the things of the past.
In this life, if we do not forget the past we cannot move forward to obtain more of what Jesus has for us. The mind that is in Christ, the mind that is moving forward, it is not a mind that is looking back at what was. The mind that is in Christ is able to forget the disappointments, even forget the limitations of yesterday. This mind is stronger today than yesterday because this mind is advancing every day in Jesus. Yesterday’s results are meaningless. Every day, through every experience and every occurrence of His loving kindness, you become greater in the Lord
The word “forget” that Paul uses in this verse means to lose it out of your mind. Lose the thoughts of yesterday out of your mind. If I don’t lose them out of my mind, they will cause me to lose my mind as I focus on the wrong things.
Finally, Paul says in this verse that he has forgotten the things of the past, which are now behind him, (if behind they cannot influence or affect you). He then reaches forward to what lies ahead. Paul has to look ahead and know that it is good. He cannot be looking backward at what was or he will not be able to see what is ahead. If he does not see what is ahead, he will not advance toward it.
In the Amplified Bible it says that Paul strains for what lies ahead. The word also means to stretch or reach forward. As you look at what is ahead, don’t just see it, reach towards it and stretch yourself forward. See a bright and powerful future with the work that Jesus has prepared for you. See it and stretch toward that which is laid out for you.
J Todd Hostetler