I don’t know what your 2014 was like. For some, it was the hardest year of their life, with trials and sickness and loss and temptation. For others, it was the best year of their life – with restoration and love and new life and spiritual highs. For others of us, it was somewhere in between, highs and lows interspersed throughout a relatively okay year.
Regardless of your year, there’s one thing we all must do: let it go. It seems that was pretty much a theme for 2014 anyway, what with the Frozen phenomenon taking over the world. But in all seriousness, let it go has been a theme for Christians since the first century, with the apostle Paul penning these words in Philippians 3:12-14,
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
What I love about these verses is what precedes them. You see, a lot of us want to “forget those things which are behind” because they’re bad things. We want to leave them in the past and press forward to new, greater heights. But for Paul, it was just the opposite. In verses 4-6 Paul gives his pedigree, a list of the great things he’d accomplished in the past. A list of things that most would be impressed by or have a chip on their shoulder about. It is those things, though, that Paul says he is leaving in the past, counting them as “rubbish” and pressing on toward new, greater heights in Jesus.
That’s what I want 2015 to be. Even though there were exciting highs in 2014, I cannot ride those spiritual coattails into this year. I cannot let the good that happened in 2014 allow me or tempt me to be stagnant in the present. Instead, if I want to glorify God with the time He has given me, I must actively pursue doing good right now, in the present, instead of allowing past faithfulness to lull me into a lukewarm state.
Yes, it’s good to let go of a bad past that is hindering you from serving God. However, it is just as needful to let go of a good past that is also hindering you from doing all you need to do in the service of your Almighty God today. Don’t let a good 2014 fool you into a lazy, apathetic 2015. Instead, forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead, actively pursuing the prize of heaven!