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Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize. – Philippians 3:13-14
Yesterday will kill you if you let it. Much of what causes people to have emotional problems today is the baggage they carry from yesterday. Far too many of us were abused by those who should have protected us; others of us never received the nurturing care we should have; still others have been through one badly ending relationship after another. This list is endless.
The good thing about yesterday is that it was yesterday – it is gone. The only effect that yesterday can have on us is what we allow it to have. One of the things that made Paul a great apostle was that he was able to turn loose of his yesterdays.
God is a forward moving God; he is not a looking over his shoulder kind of God. All of those who follow him well become forward moving followers. The Bible is full of promises for a better day and all that is required to open those promises for us today is to lay aside our yesterdays and move forward in faith.
Dwelling in yesterday will destroy you in two ways. First, if your yesterday is filled with successes you will tend to develop pride and confidence in yourself. You will begin to feel that you don’t need God. If your yesterday is filled with failure you’ll remember your failures and feel that you can’t do any better today.
Let yesterday go. Paul is revealing a secret to growth in this passage. There are two phrases in this passage that changed my life many years ago. The first is, “forgetting what is behind.” The second
is, “I press toward the goal.” When I got over my yesterdays I could look forward with a hope for the future. My future hope is not based in my past experience but in the proven word of God.
Prayer, Meditation and Reflection:
Prayer: Lord, for far too long I have let my experiences of the past affect my life today. Grant me freedom from yesterday. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: The good thing about yesterday is that it was yesterday – it is gone. The only effect that yesterday can have on us is what we allow it to have.
Affirmation: Yesterday has very little affect on my today because I do not carry it into today. I forget what is behind and I am straining toward what is ahead.
Reflection: Give some thought to how yesterday can affect your life today. How do your failures from yesterday affect your performance today? How do your successes from yesterday affect your performance today?
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