tonight at YPM (Young Professionals Ministry), my friend andrew gave a message as well as part of his testimony. i'm proud of him for being bold and sharing it with us, knowing that he was putting himself out there, but also knowing he was setting himself up to be used by God.
so, andrew, if you're reading this, just know that i'm blessed to know you and to be able to call you my brother and friend in Christ. i've only known you on "this" side of everything that happened, but in the last year that i've been here and known you, i've seen God work and do amazing things in and through you.
we're all in such different places in our lives, but we all have common threads that bond us. our experiences, though we have different frames of reference, are not uncommon among us.
we all deal with worry. anxiety. fear. disappointment.
we all rejoice. praise. worship.
one (of the many awesome) Scriptures that andrew mentioned that really stood out to me tonight was Philippians 3:13-14
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.there are things in his past that andrew wasn't proud of.
there are things in my past that i'm not proud of.
but we don't focus on those things anymore.
we are forgetting what is behind, knowing that God allowed us to experience those things for a reason - to ultimately shape us into who He wants and needs us to be.
but we keep our eyes forward, fixed on the goal of Christ.
i'm a runner.
or at least i try to be.
my focus needs to be on what is ahead in order for me to run.
if i'm constantly looking behind me and focusing on where i've been, i'll fall, trip, run into something. i'm setting myself up for failure if i'm not facing forward.
but even from the mental perspective, i'll miss out what i could've seen.
when i run, i tend to be aware of the things i pass - i try and enjoy the scenery.
but if i'm looking behind me, i miss the scenery. and if even if i see something that catches my attention in retrospect, i'm moving further away from it. no point in fixating on it, i'm moving away from it.
the same applies in our lives.
when we focus on what is behind us, we miss what is ahead.
and if we're followers of Christ, we don't need to worry about the past.
the guilt, shame, mistakes, and regrets that we had before have been placed on the Cross and we are forgiven for them; we need only to look ahead toward what God is doing in our lives and the plans He has for us as new creations.
we are to live and strain for godliness.
face forward and press on for the call of Christ.
what things in your past do you need to forget?
who in your life can you trust to share these things with?