"...I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:12-14
Press on...I can almost hear the theme song to “Chariots of Fire” when I read these verses. The apostle Paul was running a race which began by being struck down on the road to Damascus, surrounded by a heavenly light and the voice of Jesus.
Again, the paradox.
He began his race by falling down, overwhelmed by what he was experiencing. When he finally got up, he was blind. For three days he was without sight, until the Lord sent Ananias to lay hands on Paul so that Paul could receive his sight, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be baptized into the faith.
From there he went on to fulfill God’s purpose for his life.
Paul needed to forge ahead. He had a history of pride, of persecuting the saints, of being hated and reviled. He did a lot of things wrong! But he repented, and now he had a purpose. Paul had a past, and in the beginning of his ministry, many believers didn’t trust him. But now he had a chance to make amends, and to demonstrate the sincerity of his faith and love. He couldn’t let the past hold him back or bog him down.
My brothers and sisters, I know our lives are filled with past mistakes, sin, pain, and hurtful things done to us or by us.
I also know that God forgives and redeems and urges us forward.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” —1 John 1:9
“Life can only be understood backward; it must be lived forward.” —Soren Kierkegaard
[Photo: Today is a good day, Creative Commons]