Forget, Forgive, Forge Ahead
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 4:13 NLT),
Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive” (Luke 17:4)
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 4:14).
I’ve been thinking about the new year for quite some time. 2017 has had its own great joys, struggles, challenges, mundane moments and loss. Its time is winding down and a new year lies in wait on the horizon. I’m excited to wake up tomorrow morning in the newness, not only of the morning, but also for the year. 2018 holds great promise and potential and it is truly up to us to lay hold, receive and walk in all its fullness.
As I prayed, I felt Papa’s heart telling us to let go. I know, we are constantly being reminded to let go and move on, but for a lot of us (myself included), there are moments in time we tend to linger and dwell upon. Memories, emotions, people and things can often keep us unhealthily bound in a place or a time. Often the areas we linger on are the areas in our hearts where Papa desires to heal us in order for us to move forward. Not all of our stuck places are bad places, sometimes we dwell on the past when we felt it was a more desirable time or memory, similar to living in the “good ol’ days”.
In order to move on, we have to be able to let go all we hold on to. Often this will require forgiveness. Christ died and forgave our sins on the cross, once and for all. Our debt is paid. We, however, are human and we do human things. Our words and actions can offend or hurt others. This means we’ve also been recipients of offensive or hurtful actions, some even lived through horrific conditions or abuse at the hands of others. Yet, Papa desires we have forgiving hearts. Many don’t fully understand what this kind of forgiveness is, or even what it allows. When we forgive those who have hurt or offended us, whether in a moment, or after a lifetime, we tell Papa we trust Him to make things right in the situation. We set ourselves free from keeping a record of wrongs and from the physical harm unforgiveness can have in our lives. Unforgiveness robs us of joy, keeps us from receiving all Papa has for us, and can make our bodies sick. It stunts our spiritual growth and retards our forward momentum. Forgiveness is key to forging ahead and Kingdom advancement.
Once we let go of our past, forgive those who’ve hurt or wronged us, we are well able to move forward. The more we let go and the more we forgive, the faster and farther we’ll go. 2018 is going to be a year of great momentum, Papa does not want us to start stalled or sluggish. Focus on the finish line, but enjoy the race on the way there. We must prepare ourselves for advanced acceleration, and be ready to follow His Spirit as He leads, even if it makes no sense. We must have clean hearts and right spirits, forgiving and focusing, knowing Papa has already worked things out in detail.
Let us not fret about what happened in 2017, but look towards 2018 with expectant hope, hearts of praise, feet ready to move and our eyes on Jesus. Onward and upward!