Saturday, March 1, 2014

Forgetting What is Behind You

Every day we have an opportunity to focus our thoughts on either something positive, or something negative. Don't let your thoughts lead; let your will lead you to make a decision to think right and focus on what is positive. It is so easy to allow our mind to wander and begin to grumble, murmur, complain or entertain bitter, negative thoughts. Those are the results of allowing the enemy to lead one's thoughts. Don't let the enemy tempt you to lead you to entertain wrong thinking. That will always lead you backwards into unforgiveness, rehearsing wrongs, and focusing on things that keep offense alive. (By the way, those are clear indicators of retaining unforgiveness, if those negative thoughts plague your mind! Unforgiveness makes room for a spirit of fear, and fear always comes with torment!). We can either choose to have the enemy's image formed in us, by dwelling on negativity and what's wrong with people, or we can choose to have the image of Christ formed in us by focusing on people's redeemed nature and what is right with them. BIG difference! You become what you dwell on! We don't even have to speak those words out loud, but our thoughts will absolutely settle into our heart, so it's important to take authority over the wrong ones. Eventually, what is in our heart will come out of our mouth, for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. This is scripture and a spiritual truth.

Yes, you can, override your natural man and allow the spirit man to dominate your flesh. It occurs by an act of your will, and a response of prayer. Submit your heart to God and ask HIM to help you only remember the good when it comes to past relationships, experiences, etc. The Bible tells us to forget the things that are behind us so that we can press onward and upward into the high calling of Christ Jesus. We cannot forget if we are not healed and loosed from all past disappointments! We can not move forward if we cling to offense or unforgiveness! Jesus wants to set you free. Oh, how He wants to set you free! This is how He can take what was meant for evil against you and turn it into good. Right thinking is a discipline that leads to peace and the fruit of righteousness. Thinking right produces joy, peace, gratitude and grace. It also produces compassion and gratitude for others, even when painful lessons, trials and tests were incurred at their expense. When we cooperate with Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead, our natural man must surrender and acquiesce. Acquiesce means to submit or consent without protest! Life has a lot of unexpected twists and turns. A lot of surprise meetings, chance encounters that as it turns out, really aren't chance at all. And with every opportunity, we also come face to face with what's in our heart; because what is in our heart will rise to the surface. What's in our heart will prove whose character is strongest within us. Every day is our choice who we will allow to have dominion. I pray that if you find yourself struggling in your thought life, you will pray this prayer and get the victory. Praise God who always leads us on into triumph!

Father God,

I ask for grace today and every day, to help me follow the paths of righteousness you have ordained for me. I surrender every person that has hurt or offended me; every situation the enemy meant for harm. I surrender every negative memory of those individuals and situations the enemy took advantage of in order to perpetuate hurt, offense, unforgiveness and use it to cause bitterness of soul. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to help me only remember the good. Let the negative memories associated with past hurt be washed away. I choose to forget and forgive as an act of my will, and I ask for Your help to bring my heart into agreement with the spirit of mercy, grace and forgiveness. Help me remember the good memories about others and disregard the negative. People are not my enemies; the enemy is my enemy regardless of who he has used. I choose to focus on what is pure, right, positive and beneficial in order to grow in grace and develop Christlike character. When the enemy comes to remind me of something negative and wants me to dwell on unfruitful thoughts, let your Holy Spirit come and nudge those negative memories out of place and replace it with a good memory. Let right thinking produce grace and compassion in my life. In Jesus name, amen.

Philippians 3

New King James Version (NKJV)

All for Christ

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which isthrough faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.

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