Leaving the Past Behind

10 Jul

runningI am posting on something other than the fruit of the Spirit for the third time this week! (I promise to resume the study on Monday!)

I’ve been thinking about the past several months and all the changes that have come in my life  A LOT lately! Looking back, I can see His Hand upon every occurrence. I see His goodness as He closed certain doors and opened others. Most of all, I see Him showing Himself strong regardless of whether I was on the mountaintop or walking through a painful valley. It’s so good to know that the same Jesus that was faithful yesterday will be so today and will be so forever! (Heb. 13:8)

But this season of change has also brought with it the potential to be hindered by what used to be. The temptation to cling tightly to the past when it is exactly that, passed is very present. So many days I find myself beset by weights and sins that stem from the happenings of the last two years. Weights and sins that hinder the growth of the spiritual fruit I’ve been studying about recently.

This morning, these verses in Hebrews chapter 12 have brought new strength and new challenge to my heart.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

  Hebrews 12:1-2 

We are admonished to first “LAY ASIDE every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us.” The Greek meaning for the phrase “lay aside” is to cast off, to put away. What weighs me down is probably different from what weighs you down, but nevertheless we are to lay them aside in order to effectively run the race. For me, the weights include fear, doubt, discouragement, and impatience. All of these things prevent me from being everything I should be. If you think about runners in a marathon, you don’t see them running in their heaviest winter coats and snow boots, wearing such things would only hold them back from reaching the finish line in the fastest time possible. Just as the runners in a race, carrying around the weights and sins of the past will keep us as God’s children from giving our all in the race of faith. The Greek meaning of “beset” literally means to be standing around! How often I am found standing around spiritually as a result of these weights and sins when I should be pursuing a closer and deeper walk with my Lord!

We are then told to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” But before running, we must be sure that we have allowed Him to do the “laying aside”for us. In my life, I have often put certain things down only to pick them right back up a few days later. We can make no progress if we are constantly carrying around burdens and hindrances! Only after we have allowed the Lord cast off that which is unprofitable are we free to “run!”

Paul said it well in Philippians chapter 3 verses 13-14, ” Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 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.” He realized that he would never arrive at the finish line until He arrived in Heaven. The Race is constant and continual thus requiring a constant and continual sprint. He recognized that holding on to the past would keep his heart and mind full, preventing him from “reaching forth” into what God had for him in the present and in the future!

Yesterday is history. I can benefit from the lessons I’ve learned and joy in the blessings given, but I must look to and press toward the new thing God is working today. I can’t move forward while I’m looking back. I have a goal to reach, a mark to attain unto to therefore I must leave the past behind!

 

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