For the next two weeks, I want to draw your attention to passages in Scripture that detail the things worth forgetting and worth remembering.
Today, we will focus on things worth forgetting. Once you forget them, you will experience more freedom. I must add a caveat - namely, lest we fall into disillusionment, the forgetfulness of which I speak is a choice to move forward rather than a complete removal of memory.
Notice, in particular, the latter phrase in verse eighteen . . .
". . .do not dwell on the past."
The first thing to forget is the way things have always been done.
God speaks to the exiled Israelites, through Isaiah, explaining that while they should remember all the gracious and amazing things He did for them and their forebears, they should not expect God to do all things in the same fashion. Geoffrey Grogan writes . . . "The fundamental principles of the divine activity are changeless, but the outward shape of that activity alters with the changing needs of God's people. We are meant to reflect on the past with gratitude and stimulated faith but not to allow it to stereotype our expectations from God." (261)
No stereotypes or boxes are varied or large enough to contain God. God's nature never changes; His methods do.
Perhaps you did not recognize when God answered your prayer because you were blinded by expectation - expectation of a preconceived answer. Perhaps your faith-base is built more on the foundation of your parents' religion than on your personal relationship with God.
To you, as to Isaiah's audience, God declares, "See, I am doing a new thing!" Take a moment now to reflect. Seek His wisdom to know if you have been blind to see or deaf to hear His call upon your life. Perhaps you have been praying to God asking about where He would equip you to minister to others. Did you say "no" to an opportunity? Has God called; yet you have not responded because you don't like the specifics? He is calling you! He is doing a new thing in you. Forget the former things. Sign on for the new things.
Writing as one who experienced great success before coming to Christ, Paul explains why he threw it all away to pursue Christ.
A second thing to forget is what is behind.
While God can use your GPA, batting average, musical expertise, debating skill, and the speed of your 40-yard dash, each is of no consequence in comparison to your faithfulness to God's task.
Often, we more quickly recognize the value of forgetting the negatives from our past; while at the same time, we prove rather slow in recognizing that our value comes from elsewhere than our past victories. Thanks be to God, that "elsewhere" is in the grace of God. Christ Jesus took hold of your prize for you. Press on toward Him to claim that prize.
Jesus speaks - giving us full confidence . . .
Today, forgetfulness is a form of freedom. Go and be free.
Grogan, Geoffrey W. The Expositor's Bible Commentary. Ed. Frank E. Gaebelein. Vol. 6. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.
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