I remember well the words of my high school track coach. He told us that when you are running a race and you are about to cross the finish line do not look back. He explained that if you turn around for that look it will hinder your stride and slow you down. That look back may cost you the race.
I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul who describes the Christian life like a race. He tells us in Phil. 3:13,14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Paul was so focused on reaching the prize that he did not look back. When he instructed us to “forget those things which are behind” what do you suppose he meant? We need to not look back at our past sins. When we have asked the Lord to forgive us, He has buried our sins in the deepest sea and removed them as far as the East is from the West. A morbid reflection on what we used to be can keep us from being what God wants us to be. We should not look back at our past pain. If you have been on the Christian road very long you will have experienced some hurts along the way. Maybe a spiritual leader failed you, perhaps a close friend forsook you, or even a church disappointed you in some way. The enemy of our souls wants us to turn around and rehearse that pain so that we lose our focus on Jesus. I am thinking that we should not even look back on our past spiritual accomplishments. I have met many of God’s children who are living in the days of old when they used to be active, when the church was full, when they had a strong walk. Looking back too long even on our victories can keep us from the prize before us.
We have so much to look forward to. One day we will receive that upward call. Until then let us press on and not look back.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation