Pray First 2024 – Forget Devotional

January 3, 2024
Pray First 2024 – Forget Devotional

“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead. I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:12-14

Philippians 3 is surely one of the most read chapters in the New Testament. Midway through, we read the familiar verses about Paul’s desire to lay hold of the reason that Christ laid hold of him. The picture of an athlete straining and stretching toward a goal is the contest. There are two parts of coming to some realization of Christ’s purpose for us. 
Philippians 3:13 says, “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." It is interesting that forgetting is a key part of understanding the plan of God for our life. We get the reaching and pressing forward, but do we forget?
As we choose to pray first this new year, one thing we need to do is to forget. We use the word as an excuse for why we did not do something – “I forgot.” At other times, we use the word because we truly did not remember. It is interesting that forgetting the past is coupled with reaching forward.
Paul used the word to cover his past successes, failures, life before Christ, life after conversion, joys, and sorrows. He could not, nor can we remove the past. He determined, however, not to allow his past to unduly impact or influence his spiritual outlook or future. Whether the past is good or bad, he encourages us to settle it, put it in its rightful place which is the past and move forward. We carry lessons with us, but the baggage needs to be left behind. Imagine if Paul constantly reviewed his past as a persecutor of Christians, travelling city to city to arrest men and women and consent to their imprisonment or death. He would have been paralyzed and of no use to the Lord’s work. 
Friends, forget and reach forward in 2024!

“For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” -Jeremiah 31:34,

By Dr. Rex Horne