ll Christians are commanded in the Bible to forget the past and move on so that they can push forward to what God is doing in their lives. God is a God of new things, and He wants His people to be a people who keep going forward until Christ returns.
A Command for All
In Isaiah 43:18-19, God specifically commanded, “Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by; I am doing something new; it’s springing up — can’t you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.”
This command is not just for Christians who’ve had a traumatic experience. This isn’t just for those who have committed sins, or were offended. This isn’t just for those who have experienced loss or defeat, and it’s not just for those who have achieved their greatest victory in their chosen fields. No, this is for all Christians, big or small.
Many of us believe that verse when we want to forget a bad experience. Some of us apply that verse to our lives when we are hurting, want to be healed, and move on. God, however, wants us to apply that to all aspects of our lives when we choose to pursue Him.
No Looking Back
The Lord Jesus once told a man who wanted to follow Him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
That doesn’t mean we have to condemn our memories. That doesn’t mean we hate ourselves if we remember our favourite childhood snack. That, however, means that we have to consider all that we had before we followed Christ as trash or rubbish in comparison to having Christ.
Consider what Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
Friend, if we want to forget former things, we should consider them as loss compared to Christ. He has redeemed us from our past, and is our present and future.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this 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.” (Philippians 3:12-14)