Wisdom for Living: Focus on the Future, #8 | Mac Hammond
Pastor Mac taught on “Focus on the Future,” his eighth installment of the series, Wisdom for Life. Philippians 3:13 tells us to forget those things which are behind and to reach forth to those things in the future. “But you can’t reach forth until you’ve forgotten those things which are past,” said Pastor Mac. It doesn’t matter if your past is good or bad, you must forget it. Focusing on the past will rob you of your ability to make the Word your expectation of future experience.
Philippians 3:13, “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.”
You can’t reach forth until you’ve forgotten those things which are past.
Passion translation: “I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however, I do have one compelling focus.” So it’s all about what you give your attention to.
In this verse, we see God equates what is past with the seen realm. If you can see something is past, that’s why you can see it. If it isn’t a fact of natural life yet, you won’t see it.
The past cannot be part of what you meditate on. No matter how embarrassed you were, how much you wish you had done something else, no matter how condemned or guilty you may feel, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s past. Therefore, you don’t go there because it will rob you of your ability to make the Word your expectation of future experience.
The Word says, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The word press means “to make maximum sustainable effort.” It doesn’t mean to cruise through life. You make maximum sustainable effort toward the marks, which are goals or objectives that define a life oriented toward the direction God wants you to go in.
There are intermediate marks. Everything in the Bible is a mark. Love is a mark. Faith is a mark. These are basic understandings that we need to have that let us set proper goals and objectives. These are all spiritual.
But in this natural arena we live in, if you’ve got to navigate the natural arena, then you’re going to have to set goals and objectives in the natural arena that correspond or contribute to the progress you want to make spiritually.
Unfortunately, we have to live in this physical arena. So you can’t ignore the physical arena because you’re focusing on the promises of God for your life. For instance, you don’t cross the street against the light. You’ll get run over.
There are things that both civil and natural laws govern this physical realm we live in. And you have to be responsible in acknowledging and properly living in that arena.
If you’re not getting your bills paid, you don’t just stop paying your bills and focus on the fact that God has already met all of your need. You’ve got to be responsible in that arena. You budget as the Word says you should.
Do everything you can in the natural to be responsible in this natural world. And then you can focus on the spiritual truth that will orient your life in a larger sense toward the purposes of God.
Read About It
Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Phil. 3:13, “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.”
Phil. 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Pastor Mac said we have to forget about the past, both good and bad. Do you understand why we shouldn’t focus on the past, even if it’s good?
What are some smaller intermediate goals that you have for your life?
How does being conformed to this world prevent you from pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus?