Pressing Toward the Mark
July 24 - Leave Behind the Past
"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Spiritual bumps and bruises. Inner aches and pains that just don't seem to go away. Most all of us know what it's like to suffer from them but too few of us know just what to do about them.
We limp along, hoping somehow those hidden wounds will magically stop hurting, thinking that maybe (with a little extra sleep or an extra helping of dessert) that nagging sense of depression will finally disappear.
But does it ever happen that way? No!
I know. I've been there.
But thank God, I'm not there anymore. You see, over the past few years, I've faced some fierce spiritual battles. And I've found out those battles can leave you bruised and beat up on the inside just as surely as a fistfight can leave you bruised and beat up on the outside.
Before I was born again, I learned just how physically devastating a real slug-it-out kind of brawl could be. Yet as bad as I felt, a few days rest would take care of me.
The healing of a bruised and beaten spirit, however, doesn't come that easily. In fact, the passing of time often worsens this condition.
The reason is this: Instead of putting painful failures behind us, we often dwell on them until those failures become more real to us than the promises of God. We focus on them until we become bogged down in depression, frozen in our tracks by the fear that if we go on, we'll only fail again.
But there is a way out. If depression has put you into a spiritual nosedive, all you have to do to break out of it is to get your eyes off the past and onto your future--a future that's been guaranteed by Christ Jesus through the exceedingly great and precious promises in His Word.
Chances are, that won't come easily to you at first. Your mind has probably had years of practice in focusing on the past. Like an old horse that habitually heads for the barn, your thoughts will probably start galloping that direction every time you give them any slack.
So, don't give them that slack. Keep the reins tight. Purposely meditate on the Word of God. Replace thoughts of the past with scriptural promises about your future and be diligent about it. Then, instead of being a wounded soldier, you'll become the conquering warrior God made you to be.
Scripture Study: Philippians 3:12-21