A key to efficient running is eliminating anything that slows you down. That can mean altering the food you eat, the clothes you wear, your shoes, and even your form. Cyclists also do whatever they can to eliminate anything that might slow them down. They even sometimes shave their body hair hoping (in vain it turns out) it will gain them precious seconds on their competitors.
In the Christian life, we must also work to lighten the load as we walk the will of God to allow our “race” to be more efficient and to not become encumbered. Satan is an accuser (Revelation 12:10), and he will bring up our past failures in an attempt to weigh us down and keep us from focusing on the wonderful future God has in store for us. Even without Satan’s help, we slow ourselves down by dwelling on the past, our mistakes as well as our “if only” thoughts.
Whether we fall prey to Satan’s tactics or are led down the wrong path by our own thinking, our spiritual growth becomes stunted because our eyes (focus and attention) are turned away from the goal of knowing Jesus better. Paul focuses on this idea in Philippians 3:12-14 where he writes,
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 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 certainly was not saying we should never look back. We absolutely should remember and celebrate the great things God has done. This is the reason we are commanded to regularly take communion as an act of remembrance of what Jesus did for us on the cross. (1 Corinthians 11:26)
What Paul is saying is that we should hold on to those things that bring Him glory and draw us closer to Him while letting go of anything else that distracts us and takes our focus off of Him. We are to keep working toward all Christ wants us to do and be, and in this effort we are straining to reach the end of the race when we are called home to Heaven.
Want to receive weekly devotions in your email? Subscribe to New Hope Ladies by Email