Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; Philippians 3:13-15 NASB One of Paul's biggest concerns was that the church would return to the former ways of living under the law. The Galatian church was a good example. After understanding all they needed was to trust in Jesus, they gradually returned to their old ways of trying to live under the law. Paul didn't want to see the church he had such great love for fall into this pattern so the whole 3rd chapter is mainly about not living under the law or living in the flesh.
The enemy has always had such a way of deceiving people into believing that trusting in Jesus isn't enough, you need to do much more in order to be considered righteous. Today things are no different. I remember spending most of my life thinking that if I could just follow the law and work harder at not sinning I would be accepted by God. Seemed like that was what was being taught. Since realizing how wrong that thinking was, though, I still seem to catch myself going back to my old ways of trying to live according to the law and trying on my own to be righteous. Another problem with looking back is remembering all my failures. Soon self doubt comes in and lack of self esteem and hatred for all the bad decisions I made. Nothing good ever comes from looking back. First the enemy deceives us into doing something we shouldn't do then he reminds us of what we did and brings worries about condemnation. How do I keep from falling for this over and over? I remember when the pandemic first began. I was struggling from all the misinformation and fear of what was going on and then I read 2 Timothy 1:7, God hath not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I began to repeat that every time I sensed fear and soon that spirit was gone and to this day is still gone. It worked so well that I have decided to do the same with this issue. When I catch myself looking back I will remember Philippians 3:13-15 and repeat this verse and my hope and trust is, I will only look forward and press on toward the goal ahead of me.
by Ken Edgerly