Forgetting those things which are behind—Phil. 3: 13.
We forget the things that are behind, because it is right that we should do so; because God forgets them and declares that He has cast all of our imperfections behind His back, that our imperfections are all covered from His sight, by the merit of Him who loved us and who died for us, and whom we love, and in whom we are trusting, and in whose steps we are seeking to walk, though having more or less of imperfection according to the defects we have inherited in the flesh. We are not meaning to suggest that slips or failures should be lightly esteemed or quickly forgotten; they should be rectified to the extent of our ability, and Divine forgiveness should be sought for these defects daily.
The things that are behind include the things given up in justification, i.e., sin and error, and more especially the things given up in consecration, i.e., the things of self and the world. To forget these things implies the detachment of our affections from them, suppressing their efforts to control us and presenting an impenetrable heart and mind to their enticements. Not only a consideration of their small value, unsatisfactoriness and danger to the new heart and mind, but also more especially of the great value, satisfactoriness and safety to the new heart and mind of the spiritual things, will enable us to forget them. Let the latter things so fill our affections that the former will have no appealing effect upon us.
Parallel passages: Prov. 4: 25; 17: 25, 26; Matt. 10: 37-39; John 12: 25; Psa. 45: 10; Gen. 19: 26; 24: 58-61; Luke 9: 62; 17: 32, 33; Gal. 4: 9; Phil. 3: 7, 8; Heb. 10: 39; 12: 1; 1Pet. 1: 14; 4: 1-4; 2Pet. 1: 9.
Questions: Have I been forgetting the things of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness this week? What has helped or hindered therein? What have been the results?
BEYOND THE SHADOWS
FARTHER on—beyond the shadows
Falling darkly o'er my way,
There is home, and rest and shelter,
Where no storms can e'er dismay.
Though the way be rough and narrow,
And a cross must needs be borne,
Farther on—the night is waning
Soon will dawn the welcome morn.
Meekly to His will submitting,
In His love secure and strong,
Jesus whispers, "Bide the shadows,
It is better farther on."
Farther on—O blest assurance!
How it thrills my raptured heart,
Just to know that I shall see
Him When the shadows all depart.
Let me still be strong and patient,
Trusting where I cannot trace,
Farther on—beyond all darkness
Faith can see God's smiling face.
Only waiting, ever praying,
Let my heart be filled with song.
Sweet the promise Jesus gives me,
"It is better farther on."
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