"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." That descriptive action was the ONE thing the Apostle Paul said that he did in his personal life and practical ministry. Looking at the passage, it is clear to see that in order for that one goal to be accomplished, There were two preparatory actions that had to have preliminarily occurred in order for the 'pressing' to take place.
Firstly, the past had to be forgotten. That is not that it escaped the memory bank, but that it no longer rendered any practical response to its former historical happening. That can only become a reality as all of its components are accurately and adequately dealt with at the cross of Christ. Once all failure, guilt, shame, anger, or bitterness is placed eternally under the blood, the sting of the memory pales into gratitude for the mercy and grace of God.
Secondly, the future had to involve goals of godliness, toward which individual steps would proceed. In chronological action order, Paul's exhortation is simply that we FORGET the past, FOCUS on the future, and FUNCTION responsibly in the present. How often does that process need to occur? As often as the past troubles our thinking, and seems to impede our forward spiritual progress. It is a critical aspect of our sanctification, which is a process, following the historical event of salvation.
May we faithfully accomplish the spiritual discipline of pressing on.
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