I read an article this week by Dr. Rexella Van Impe which both blessed and challenged me. Therefore, I want to share some of those thoughts with you now. She was considering the things about God that we need to remember: His promises, His faithfulness, His love, His forgiveness, etc. Remembering those things are so encouraging and uplifting to our daily walk, but it was the need to forget that captured my attention.
Our arch enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us to be filled with peace and joy. He doesn’t like us to remember God’s faithfulness and love, but there is something most important to him that he loves us to dwell upon, to churn over in our thoughts, to remember always. Our enemy loves us to remember our failures and past sins. Doing so keeps us downcast rather than praising. Focusing on our failures keeps us centered on the negative past rather than the positive future. Our enemy endeavors to keep us looking at ourselves with all our shortcomings, rather than on our Father who says to us in Luke 1:37, “With God nothing shall be impossible.”
The Apostle Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, wrote something most significant in Philippians 3:13-14, “…I focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” The writer of Hebrews, in 12:1, also said something vital to our victorious walk with God, “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Satan wants us to remember our ugly sin, to blame ourselves over and over, to beat ourselves up to the point all joy is lost. You probably agree, but you may understandably be asking, how can I achieve this level of joy and peace when I actually know how despicable I am? The answer lies in the next verse of Hebrews 12:2, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…”
You and I cannot easily forgive ourselves. Satan seeks to plague us on every turn, constantly reminding us of our failures at every opportunity. The only way to defeat his attack is to focus, instead, on all the things of God. One of my favorite verses is found in Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
How we live our days, in misery and sense of failure, or in heavenly peace and the joy of being made a new creation in Christ, is totally a matter of the heart. This new year, my prayer for myself and all of you reading this is:
Father, we thank you for Your forgiveness. Thank you for making us new. Old things are passed away. Help us to forget past sins and failures, focusing instead on the truth that, with you all things are possible. I ask the Holy Spirit to help us remember to guard our hearts, to focus on things that are true in Jesus Christ. In the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to remember to forget all that no longer matters, and to remember to focus, focus, focus on everything of God. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen
Have a Blessed New Year everyone!