Conquer Your Past by Focusing on Your Future

I’ve been told that the cleaning spray Formula 409 got its name because it took 408 attempts to get the right formula. They failed 408 times before they finally succeeded! I was also told that Kellogg’s Corn Flakes resulted when a batch of wheat was left in a baking pan all night long. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were created by mistake.

Those “mistakes” became successes. They turned what appeared to be an accident or a failure into something very successful. Those are people in the business world who created successful products out of mistakes. So why do we think that our lives should be any different when we’ve made mistakes? We have all made mistakes, had some failures, done some things that we wish we could just go back and push delete on, but God is saying, “No. Let Me use it. Don’t waste your pain. Let me turn it into something that will help somebody else.”

Philippians 3:13-14 says, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

When I used to hear that scripture, I would focus on the part about forgetting the past, forgetting those things which are behind. But that is not all that we should focus on. He said, . . . this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He is saying that in order to press toward the mark, we must do two things. We have to: 1) forget the past, and, 2) reach for your future.

The Lord showed it to me this way. When a trapeze artist is up on the ledge, she is holding on to somebody and then she swings down. But if all she did was let go, then she is going down. She has to let go of one bar, reach out and hang on to another one, in order to get to the other side. It’s the same way with our lives. It’s not a matter of just letting go of the past. And yes, that can be challenging enough in itself. You have to let go of the past, but you also have to hang on to something else: a vision. You have to hang on to your future.

Satan is working over time to distract you. The thing he does not want you to have is a vision for your life. He knows that without a vision, you will perish. Do you know what perish means? It means die! You will die without a vision. It’s that vital.

You can only conquer your past by focusing on your future. And how do you do that? By having a vision, or a plan, for your life. And the most important vision that you could ever have is for your relationship with the Lord.

I can tell you from experience that when you start setting goals to get to know God better, it will move you right into His perfect will for your life. That is exactly what has happened with me. Now, I am not talking about being legalistic. I am not saying that you have to read a certain number of chapters in the Bible per day or pray for a certain amount of time during a certain time of the day. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about having a plan to get to know the Lord. Because the closer you get to God, the more you learn about Him. The more you spend time just hearing the Word, the more sensitive you become to hearing His voice. You don’t question Was that God or was that me or was it even the devil. The closer you get to Him, the more you will know when He is leading you.

And it’s not hard. It really doesn’t even take much effort. You can push play on your CD player and listen to a faith building CD while you are getting ready in the morning. And why not? You have to get ready anyway, why not hear the Word while you are doing it? Why not build your faith for that 30 minutes it takes you to get ready? (Or in my case 1hr. 30 minutes).

Successful people don’t become successes over night. They became a success because they had a plan. And I am telling you that when you get a plan to get to know God, He will lead you into His perfect will for your life.

When I look at my life right now, I have to be honest, I have never written any of this down as my vision. Isn’t that interesting? I have never written down that I wanted to be a Senior Vice President at Jerry Savelle Ministries and help oversee my dad’s ministry. I would have never in a million years written down that I wanted to be on the TV broadcast with my dad and preach the Word. I have never written down that I wanted to travel with the Chariots of Light and help my dad minister. I have never written any of that.

But do you know what I have written? Thursday morning when I get up, I am going to listen to a faith building CD. And then when I drop my daughter off at school, I am going to listen to a CD from the school to work, and then when I get home I am going to put another CD in while I’m doing laundry. I have written that I am going to hear the Word more today than I did yesterday. I have written those kinds of things. Those are personal growth goals that I have set for my life.

And it has led me right into the perfect will of God for my life.

Let me end this article by saying that the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. I want to encourage you to get a “tomorrow morning” vision for your relationship with the Lord. Write down how you plan to get to know God better tomorrow. God has plans for your life. He wants to use you – your past and your future – to help others. So don’t be stuck in your past. God’s not. Get a vision for your life. You can only conquer your past by focusing on your God-given future!

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