“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.”
Paul looked at his heritage, the things he trusted in and counted it all “dung.” Don’t allow the past to lead you into bondage. The word “Forgetting” means “to willfully neglect.” It means “to cease to be affected by.” Do not allow yourself to be influenced by it. It is in the present tense, and means this was his habit of continually forgetting. This was his direction, not perfection but a new direction of living. “Forgetting,” is also in the middle – voice “which means that the “runner” initiates & participates in benefits thereof.” Paul is saying, “Don’t lose focus , dont look back and be influenced in your present by the past!” To live in the rear mirror of life hinders you from living in the present looking to Jesus. For a runner to turn and look sideways or backwards, will cause them to lose focus! “Look away to Jesus…” Learn from the past but don’t dwell there, press on to Know Him! It is a command to be obeyed, a choice to be made. An attitude to be maintained. It is a conscious choice to refuse to let the past absorb him, overtake his thinking and mire him in the quicksand of the past, seeking to entrap and hold him prisoner in his thinking. The goal of it is to impede his progress through arresting his attention and attitude to the detrement of pursuing Christ! He makes a conscious decison to obey the command, not to be enslaved and instead press on to know Him and progress in his faith, being conformed to the image of Christ! Recognize it is a demonic trap. Refuse to dwell there by choosing to Replace the thoughts with Him. If the thoughts do not lead to your progress of pushing on to know and be conformed to Him, it is not of Him! Focus ahead, looking to Jesus! Trust His Word. Take the past into the Light of God’s Word and sees what He says about your and my past!
God has taken care of your past so you need not be taken up with it- But taken up with HIM!