“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
We live in a world that constantly echoes “live life to the fullest” “live it up” “YOLO” “live every day like it’s your last!” It echoes through worldly things, but it even echoes through the modern church. I often find myself wondering what living life to the fullest even means. I find the “live every day like it’s your last” mindset irrelevant because I definitely would not be spending my last day doing homework. That’s the life of a college student in a nutshell, if you were wondering. Ha.
I’ve always struggled with being content. I often fill my mind with all of the “what if”s:
What if I would’ve…
What if he would’ve…
What if … would’ve happened.
What if I had done … differently.
I’m sure you can fill in the blanks based on your own life circumstances.
Regret is a liar.
Regret chains you to circumstances that don’t even exist anymore. The only place regret exists is in your own mind. But how many people do you know that walk around burdened by the past? How many days do you spend reminiscing on “the good ole days?” Regret amplifies our emotions. I often look back on past seasons of life and believe that I was much happier back then, before I allowed “this” or “that” to happen. The truth is that life wasn’t perfect in that season either. Don’t allow the past to deceive you into believing that you’re missing out.
There are things that happen in life that we just can’t change. Yes, sometimes I wish life had a delete button, but it just doesn’t work that way. You live and you learn. As Paul said, “but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
You can’t change the past, but you can change your perspective.
Today during my quiet time I realized that I often picture God in all of my broken, pain-filled moments, but I forget to picture Him in my best, joy-filled moments. When God says He is always there, He means always. I am currently memorizing Psalm 139, and so far I’ve gotten through verses 1-3,
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”
He knew that person would walk out of your life. He knew you would move schools. He knew your parents would divorce. He knew you would leave behind everything that’s familiar to you and venture out into the frightening world on your own. He knew that you would have no idea what you’re doing. He knew you would fail that test and flunk that class. He knew you would feel insecure and inadequate. And He knew that you would’t understand why certain things have happened.
But He’s still God. And He is still good.
If you’re doubting the season of life you’re in, then you’re doubting God. And to that, my friend, I say this: doubt your doubts.
It takes guts to let go of the past. The past wants to hold you captive, keep you bound, and stop you from enjoying the moments you have today. The past’s power is only an illusion.
I think that’s why Paul says we must “strain” forward to what lies ahead and “press on” towards the prize. We must have grit. We must stand strong. We must buckle down and loosen our grips, surrendering control and allowing God to take control.
The key to keeping our eyes forward is being strengthened by Christ. Paul said, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
When you trust that God has got your back, that you’re taken care of, that He’s working it all out, then you can have peace in all circumstances. No, you can’t change the past, and yes, I know life is a little weird. BUT, this is not our home. Every day is a day closer to being with Jesus. And every day trusting God is a day worth living.
Living life knowing God is an adventure, because you can see Him in all the things around you. Living life with God is living life to the fullest because our purpose in unleashed and potential is born.
God is good in this moment. God has you exactly where He wants you. All you have is today.