Surely you have heard the phrase, “When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” Sounds like a good counterpunch when he throws the old you in your face, doesn’t it? But if you’re anything at all like me, then you too have found that he is quicker on the draw, and his memory is better than yours. And, before you can throw that remind-him-of-his-future counterpunch, he has already gotten in five or six remember-this jabs, a did-you-forget-about-that uppercut, and a blinding left-hook reminder of some long-ago indiscretion that sends you down to the canvas, writhing in the pain of a sordid past that not even you remembered.
On the other hand, your past and mine may be opposites. Mine: a hall of shame filled with mournful regret. Yours: a hall of fame, filled floor to ceiling with trophies and other personal accolades, making the time you spend dwelling in the past seem like time well spent, a pleasurable and satisfying experience. But don’t be deceived.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
— Proverbs 16:18
True it is:
“The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car, it’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come, but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.”
Best advice: “Forget the former things” (Isaiah 43:18 tells us); “do not dwell on the past.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.”
— Jeremiah 29:11
Has the enemy convinced you that you are without hope? Nothing good up ahead for you? Scripture says that’s not so:
“He is a liar and the father of lies…”
— John 8:44
The declaration of scripture is this:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9
Then God goes on record taking it a step further to say:
“…And I will remember their sin no more.”
— Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12
My friend, don’t try to figure it all out. Having placed your faith in Jesus, press on. The apostle Paul had an infamous past, as did many other major Bible characters, but he said this:
…Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 3:13–14
Satan knows that when we keep looking back, allowing the past to dominate our thoughts, we lose our ability to focus on what God is doing right now. Listen up: I don’t know who said it, but it’s worth repeating. “You will never find your future in the rear-view mirror.” Think about it.