Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
If you’re like me you probably ask yourself, “I wonder what will happen in this New Year?” or “What unexpected event will take place this year?”
Are you more moved by your past or are you more motivated about your future? Well, today I want to motivate you to move on in 2014! Move on and face the future with strength, security and success.
The only person who ever lived on this planet that never had any regrets was Jesus Christ! Not so with us! I’m sure all of us can say today that there are regrets in our past or in this past year!
You may have regrets:
* Because you did something in this past year that you know you should not have done.
* Or because you did not do something this past year that you know you should have done.
Countless people woke up this morning with regrets and remorse hovering over them and everywhere they go – those clouds follows them!
If you are saying to yourself – that’s me! Do you know you’re in good company? The greatest Christian to ever live is the apostle Paul. A man that had a life of regrets, heartache, sorrow and remorse!
Paul is going to help us get out from under the cloud of guilt and move onto a crown of glory!
HOW TO MOVE ON IN 2014?
1. Be Dissatisfied With Your Position. Vs. 12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
The good news for Paul was that he was saved, sure and sanctified, but he was not satisfied!
Get this: even though he was a spiritual superstar, a dynamic leader and a powerful prayer warrior – he was not satisfied with that, he wanted to improve in his spiritual walk.
Does that describe you? I’m still growing in my personal life and in my spiritual journey.
There are 2 problems that we all must never accept:
* Avoid living in the past.
* Never rest in the present.
Are we mature enough to realize that we are still not mature enough?
You see what made Paul such a great man was that he was more concerned with his character than he was with his reputation! And the reason he was so successful was because he never thought of himself as being successful!
The position of success is not a destination; rather it’s a never-ending process. We need to wake up every day and ask ourselves “How can I make the rest of my life the best!” We must be dissatisfied with our position – that’s the starting point!
2. Be Delivered From You Past. Vs. 13, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
Ecclesiastes 7:10, “Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.”
I guarantee that you will never experience a better tomorrow if you are always thinking about the past! We will never be able to focus on the future until we get unfocused from our past.
Virtually every verse in this text, Paul gives us aggressive terminology. Paul is reminding the reader –“press on”, “reaching forward”, and “the goal”.
He’s using these phrases because life doesn’t have to be a “rat race” instead life can be a winning race!
As with every race, the important thing is not where you’ve been but where you’re heading! You can be assured that you will never sail the ship of your life into the seas of peace and joy, if you’re still anchored to your past.
May I say something that might just surprise you and liberate you from bad theology? God is not as concerned with your past as you are!
Key: Paul understood this because – he was striving to forget his life in the past!
Paul had to:
* Forget his past guilt. He was a murderer, a blasphemer and persecutor! The deep scare of sin and sorrow was on his heart. How about you?
* Forget his past grief. Paul was beaten, jailed, mocked, shipwrecked and rejected! How about you?
* Forget his past grudges. Paul was lied to, mistreated, forsaken, and thrown out by his family and friends.
How about you?
This is important: To forget doesn’t always mean that you stop remembering! There’s no way to completely erase your past from you memory! Forget = (As Paul uses it here) is to no longer be influenced or affected by our memory
Here’s a good example: God says that he forgets our sins! Does that mean that He has Alzheimer’s? No! Rather it’s God reminding to us that I will never allow your sin to influence my relationship with you! Amen!
Question: Why do people try to survive in life using drugs and alcohol? Because the reality of yesterday is influencing their vitality for today.
Maybe there’s someone here that needs to cut the rope to your anchored past and start sailing by your past guilt, grief and grudges!
I’ve come realize something interesting about a lot of people. People tend to forget that their past is only a snapshot of their life. And then they turn that snapshot into a portrait.
3. Be Devoted To A Purpose. Vs. 13b, “But one thing I do”
Paul learned one of secrets of moving on is concentration! He’s saying I’m going to give my life to one thing of value and purpose!
You may be asking yourself, What was the one thing Paul did? Vs. 14 … “I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward calling…”
Goal = It means: a mark on which the eye is fixed. So Paul says I’ve got one thing in sight – I’m reaching the goal in this life and the prize in the next life! This is the secret to purpose.
If we don’t overcome our past, the garbage of life, the guilt of life, and the grief of life spill over into other areas of our lives!
If we will set the right “Purpose Goals” in life and then build our lives around them – then there’s no reason we shouldn’t be motivated to move on in 2014!
“Purpose Goals” = Foundational motivation for a successful future! Vs. 14 … “I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward calling…”
Questions to ask yourself whether you have set the right Purpose Goals: (If your goals are to get rich or etc…)
* Will it get me to a deeper and more intimate relationship with God?
* Will it help make someone else successful in the process?
* Do I have to violate any spiritual principles to get there?
* Will it accomplish something God has told me to do?
4. Be Determined In Your Passion. Vs. 14, “I press toward,” vs. 12, “I press on”
We may be saying, “I’m not where I want to be” – then press on!
You may be saying, “I’m tired of my job” – then press on!
You may be saying, “I’ve been abused most of my life” –then press on! That’s passion!
It will take more than aspiration, inspiration and perspiration – it takes determination! That’s passion!
Where’s the passion? Someone has said that people are like wheelbarrows, trailer, or canoes: they need to be pushed, pulled or paddled.”
When life delivers hard blows – we need passion to fight back. When life dumps trouble on our doorstep – we need passion to shovel it away. When life destroys our dreams – we need passion to believe for new ones!
Failure is never fatal; failure is never futile and failure is never final!
LifePoint: You could say that failure in never a person in life, but a place in life! 2014 is your year to get past that place!
I remind you that you are anointed as a Christian to press on!
Because of the mercy of God, the grace of God and the forgiveness of God – it doesn’t matter where you’ve been! But you don’t know what I’ve done – I don’t care! But you don’t know where I’ve been – I don’t care! But you don’t know my past – I don’t care!
What matters the most today is not where you’re come from, but where you’re going and do you have passion to get there?