Forget About It!
By George Stroh
September 5, 2011
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13,14)
Regrets?... The Apostle Paul had more than a few. Before his amazing Damascus road conversion, Paul (known as Saul back then), was devoted to the persecution of Christians; "Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way (Christians), both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem." (Acts 9:1,2). Paul was personally responsible for the imprisonment, flogging and even murder of many innocent Christians.
Yes, Paul had regrets. Yet he also understood the complete forgiveness in Christ of all past, present and future sins. He knew that nothing, even the persecution of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church would cause him to lose God's love; "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39). This knowledge of God's grace and forgiveness caused Paul, not to sin more, but to accept God's unconditional forgiveness and to press on; "...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead".
One of Satan's most effective strategies against Christians is to constantly remind them of their past sins. If he can weigh down believers in guilt and shame, he can blunt their witness and ministries. Now please understand. Guilt is a good and proper response to a believer's ongoing sin. The Holy Spirit convicts our conscience with guilt and shame in order to lead us to repentance. But after repenting, we are to move on, knowing we are forgiven in Christ and that God always loves us.
So if today you are sinning, repent (change your mind) and start right now doing the right things. And then just forget about it and move forward immediately in trust and obedience to God. Don't waste another moment with past regrets and don't give the enemy any victories; "But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life" (Romans 6:22) Maranatha!