Life flows like a river. No matter what gets in the way, it flows on. It’s something meant to be enjoyed and cherished. But it’s always changing. And we can’t stick too long in the past, because then we lose sight of the beautiful future (source unknown).
Hello Women of Warfare! Welcome to a brand new year!
To embrace the new we need to let go of the old, so let’s bid goodbye to last year, even if necessary to the last decade. Let’s say goodbye to the past.
In Isaiah 43:18 we are told: Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old and in Philippians 3:13 the Apostle Paul declares that he is: …forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
Now when I say “forget”, I am not suggesting that the past will be miraculously erased from your memory. I am not suggesting that we have to live in denial. I am saying let’s make a conscious decision not to dwell in the past, particularly if that past is having a negative impact upon our current outlook and upon our future—particularly if remembering those things that are behind hinders us from seeing opportunities ahead, or hampers our growth and development as a child of God.
What does “forgetting” involve?
- Not allowing your past to give you an inferiority complex (Paul – 1 Timothy 1:12-13)
- Not agonising over past sins and moral failures (David – 2 Samuel 11:2-5, 14-17, 26-27; Psalm 51:1-17)
- Not brooding over the rejection and/or betrayal of others (Joseph – Genesis 41:50-51; Genesis 45:4-5, )
- Not condemning self when you fail to honour your professed allegiance to Christ (Peter – Matthew 26:33-35; Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:15-17)
- Not holding onto your perceived pedigree (Paul – Philippians 3:4-6)
- Not pining for the “good old days” (Children of Israel – Numbers 11:4-6)
- Not resenting God’s sovereign acts, which may seem harsh from your human perspective (Aaron – Leviticus 10:1-7)
- Not wallowing in self pity over a fait accompli, which has an adverse impact upon your life (Jephthah’s daughter – Judges 11:30-40).
Let me make it clear that there is absolutely no harm in looking back with a positive mindset, in order to review and reflect. However, we should not look back in such a manner that doing so results in us chastising ourselves, throwing a pity party, or retaining grudges.
As women of warfare, as prayer warriors, we are asked to lift up holy hands without wrath and without doubting (1 Timothy 2:8). So as well as letting go of negative memories, we need to let go of negative thoughts and behaviours, since these will affect our relationship with God, our effectiveness in serving others and our ability to live the abundant life for which Christ paid a high price, in order that we might enjoy.
Once we make that decision to forget and let go of the past, we can enjoy each new day as it comes. We can look forward to this new year and to our future with confidence.
Let me encourage you to remember and reflect upon the following words from our Heavenly Father: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you… thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
NB: Scripture references are taken from: Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJ version