Why should I forget what is behind?

A line from an old hymn says – “Each victory will help you some other to win.” I don’t believe that because (Philippians 3:12-13) forgetting those things which are behind, I press on. If I continually remember and dwell on past failures, it will lead me to despair and I’ll be too discouraged to press on. If I continually remember and dwell on past victories, I can be an easy prey for pride – so filled with self-satisfaction that I’m blinded to my need to press on and lose my desire to strain forward. Of course we must always praise and thank God for HIS victory in full awareness of Whose victory it is.
Let’s take another trip in the time machine and go back to past events which can give us both questions and instruction.
We hear Jesus (Mark 6:7) commission the 12 disciples for ministry. We follow them (VS.12) and we hear them preach repentance, we see them cast out demons, we watch them anoint with oil and heal the sick. WOW – they could do it – they did it. Whoopdee doo! They are feeling pretty good about themselves. But we are in for a shock because – what happened? Listen to that man. I brought my (Mark 9:17-19) demon-possessed son to Your disciples and they could not. What happened to the whoopdee doo guys between could and could not? Obviously past victories are not the guarantee of present and future victory. Did they think they had a method or formula down pat? Were they proud of what they saw as their achievements? Jesus said (Luke 10:18-20) I saw Satan fall (Isaiah 14:12) like lightning. What did that have to do with it? Jesus is warning against pride and the wrong reason for joy. Satan fell (Ezekiel 28:17) because his heart was lifted up and proud. Jesus reminded the disciples (Luke 10:19) Behold I give unto you power. Without ME (John 15:5) you can do nothing.
When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon, He said something they found hard to believe. He told them that they didn’t know everything. This kind (Mark 9:29) goes out only by prayer and fasting - - they didn’t know that. They had much more to learn and they soon made it obvious. It was getting toward evening and thousands of people were still listening to Jesus teach. The disciples said (Matthews 14:15) send them away. Philip (John 6:7) didn’t have enough money. Andrew (John 6:9) didn’t have enough food. Just like me they had much more to learn.
Hezekiah was a good king and appeared to be humble before the Lord but (2 Kings 20:1) he got sick and God told him he would die. Then Hezekiah wept – snivelled – whined – prayed – and paraded his good works before the Lord, hoping he could persuade God to change his mind. God gave him 15 more years – BUT – did God change his mind? No, He never does. So what was God doing? When we are trying to dig into a difficult scripture, we need to remember that God always knows the end from the beginning. Hezekiah felt quite good about himself and developed a swagger. After all - he’d never heard of anyone receiving such a spectacular answer to prayer. Then – he actually got a gift and letter from the son of the King of Babylon. Talk about an inflated ego! When they came to visit he proudly showed off all his treasures and riches. You know the story (ISA.39:1-8) and the consequences. God was testing him (2 Chronicles 32:31) to expose what was hidden in his heart for his heart (2 Chronilces 32:25) was lifted up. God gave him time to repent and humble himself before the Lord (2 Chronicles 32:26) before he actually died.
Foolish Hezekiah thought his prayer was answered because he was worthy and deserved it – had no idea of God’s purpose. We can see how subtle Satan can be as he uses pride in an effort to destroy God’s plan. It was the goodness of God (Romans 2:4) that led him to repentance. We need to be alert and on guard. I’m sure we have all observed how insidiously pride sneaks in - - even into the prayer room – the holy place – even the desire for spiritual growth.
Why did Jesus say (John 15:5) without Me you can do nothing? Think of those words in the light of (John 5:30) – of Myself I can do nothing but (John 14:10) the Father Who lives in Me – HE does the works. Listen to Peter (Acts 2:22) on the Day of Penecost. Jesus – a MAN – approved unto God by miracles – wonders – signs which GOD DID by Him.
Looking at that - - how many miracles did Jesus do? None. Jesus, as MAN, was fully available to the Father so that in Him the Father would be revealed to us. Jesus said (John 14:21) if you love Me you will obey Me. Loving obedience makes us completely available to Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus in and through us. Jesus said (John 14:9) he that has seen Me has seen the Father. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be so totally obedient that we could say – whoever has seen me has seen Jesus! Let us press on and strain forward. Success never is measured by results but only and always by obedience. If we go by results we’ll find discouragement. If some results cause us to gloat because we consider them our achievements for God, we are on dangerous ground. Our works for God are wood – hay – stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10). Only what Jesus does in and through us will have eternal value.
If we are ever tempted to a religiously dressed pride because we think we’ve accomplished something - - we need to heed this stern warning with all it implies. That no flesh (1 Corinthians 1:29) should glory in His Presence. Our Sovereign God (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11) will not share His glory with another.
Jesus warned us (Luke 10:20) not to rejoice in successful service, but to rejoice because we are rightly related to Him. Jesus did not say (John 8:29) that He did the things that pleased the Father - - He said He ALWAYS did the things that pleased the Father.
Here’s the good news for us. Jesus hasn’t changed (Hebrews 13:8) but is the same yesterday, to-day and forever. So He will continue to do the things that please the Father IN US if we are obediently available.
OSWALD CHAMBERS - The snare is to rejoice in successful service. Keep your relationship right with Him and whatever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you – and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it. It is only work that God does through us that counts.
Remember (Philippians 4:6) In everything give thanks for everything. It has been well said that a person without an attitude of gratitude is a stranger to happiness.
If I am so intimate with Jesus that I am one with Him I Have His authority (POA) to use His Name and resources - - in a word and (Colossians 3:17) in deed and (John 14:14, 15:7,16 in prayer
Now (1 Timothy 1:17) unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be power and glory (all glory) for ever and ever.
And everybody said - - AMEN!

Related Articles