Devotion #128

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: 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.

Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

Paul reminds us in this passage to leave the past in the past and to focus our eyes and our minds on what lies ahead because He knows it’s how we stay out of the pit. When we dwell on the past—whether it’s our own regret or the hurt cause by our spouses, we forget God’s plan for our marriage. He wants to refine us. His goal is to soften us, to create more loving, more compassionate, more forgiving hearts so He will those difficult circumstances in our lives to bring to light an area of our hearts that need to be chastened.

Forgetting the past isn’t something that we can do in our own power. Our deceitful hearts want to drag us to the past and remind us of our own shame or of the deep hurts caused by our spouses over and over again. Far too many of us live with the overwhelming sadness of what has been done, and what cannot be undone. We dwell on it in our silence, and we bring it up in our arguments. Consistently taking ourselves back to the hurt or shame by reliving those moments stands in the way of the healing power Jesus has for us in the words, press on. The wounds stay fresh, the emotion stays sharp, and the division continues to grow. The damage of keeping ourselves locked in the box of our past will eventually lead to the destruction of our union, but the reality is if we try to fight the battle of the past in our own power, we will lose every single time. Our hearts just don’t want to let it go.

It is only to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ that we can begin to release the past and find a way to live in the present. There is a grace available to you that frees you from living in the past. It’s not a freedom that comes from rewriting our history, it’s not a freedom that comes from apologies or denial. It’s the freedom of a forgiving and transforming Grace. It’s a freedom that allows me to move into the present, and leave all that happened in the past behind me. 

All that I look back on with I regret is covered by the cross of Jesus Christ. All that I look back on with sadness and pain, is covered by the cross of Jesus Christ. We are told to press on, we are told to forget what lies behind and focus our eyes on what lies ahead. There is healing power for your marriage in those words. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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