Put the past behind you to move forward

If you want to move forward, you must willingly choose to put the past behind you. That will require a conscious, willful decision. And with God’s help, it can be done.

Here at the beginning of a new year, we have a clean slate. We can forget the past. It is time to leave it behind. That is the first step toward making resolutions that last in 2017. It is time to press on toward what is ahead.

When a farmer is cultivating a field of corn, he must operate according to these same standards. He must look forward, not behind. The shovels on the cultivator are breaking up the ground in between the rows, coming very close to the plants themselves.

Since a cultivator can do up to 24 rows at a time, if you get off center, even a little, you could wipe out 24 rows of corn at one time.

To get the job done right, a farmer must forget what is behind and keep working on what is ahead. Pressing toward what is ahead requires continuous concentration.

In Philippians 3:12-14, the Apostle Paul uses a word picture to help us understand. He speaks of a runner in a race. A runner must focus on the goal (the finish line) in order to achieve the hoped-for victory. A winning runner is focused and determined. In order to press on toward the goal, you have to have a goal in mind.

What kinds of goals have you set for yourself in 2017? Do your goals glorify God? That is a worthwhile question as you are setting goals and making resolutions in the new year. First Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do, it should all be done for the glory of God.

Some worthy, God-honoring goals for 2017 might include spending more time with your children, becoming a better manager of your time, learning to prioritize, volunteering to serve, continuing your education or to exercise more consistently. None of these goals are innately right or wrong, but it is wise to determine how our goals will glorify God.

Paul made it clear that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ and to be all that Christ had in mind for him. This goal was the driving force of his life. He wasn’t about to allow anything to cause him to take his eyes off the goal of knowing Christ. We would do well to follow his example.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.