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Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi to forget those things that are behind and reach forth unto those things that are before. Before you can go on with God, you must forget about the past.

Paul, once known as Saul of Tarsus, had to forget about his past as a persecutor of Christians in order to minister effectively.

In 1 Timothy 1:11-16 Paul said of himself: "According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."

But thank God, God's great mercy reached Paul! That's one thing he was talking about when he said, "Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark."

It would have been a terrible thing for Paul to continually remember the havoc he had wrought in the Church by consenting to the death of Stephen and persecuting believers.

If we are to be successful in our Christian life and ministry, there is one thing we must do, and it's a lesson Paul learned: we must learn to forget. If we don't learn this lesson, we'll be handicapped the rest of our lives in living for God.

Remember this: The Lord Himself said in Isaiah - and it's repeated in the New Testament - "I, even I, am he that blots out thy transgressions, and will not remember thy sins" (Is. 43:25). If He doesn't remember them, why should you?

You need to remind Him and yourself, because when you enter into the presence of God to pray, the devil will bring all kinds of accusations against you. Invariably, he will bring your past before you as a photograph. But that's all it is: just a picture! It doesn't exist anymore! God said, "I've blotted it out." If He blotted it out, it doesn't exist.

God didn't say He wouldn't remember your sins or iniquities for your sake (although you get the benefit of it); He said it was for His sake. He'll not remember your sins.

Why? So He can bless you. So He can help you. So He can demonstrate His great mercy and love on your behalf. You can see that Paul had to forget his past in order to walk on with God and to stand in the full potential of the office and ministry God had called him to.

Closely associated with learning to forget is learning to forgive. This forgiveness is twofold: Not only must you learn to forgive other people, you also must learn to forgive yourself. It takes faith to forgive! In fact, your faith won't work unless you do forgive!

Source: Learning to Forget by Kenneth Hagin.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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