Press On

Series: Rebel's Guide to Joy | Week 8: When the Past Haunts You

Read Philippians 3:12-13 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

Paul knew with clarity that he wasn’t perfect. In fact, his past was full of things he would rather erase. Before God redeemed his life, he was an enemy of Jesus and the church. He persecuted them and even authorized the execution of the first Christian martyr. In his letter to the Philippians, he made it clear: “I haven’t reached perfection, but I press on to perfection. Why? Because Jesus has made me His own.”

Our life may look different than Paul’s, but we all have a past. Sometimes our past leaves us insecure or doubting if God can use us. Sometimes it leaves us with regret or shame. Sometimes we let a good past keep us stuck, unable to move forward into the future. Paul says to forget it all and press on.

Forgetting our past doesn’t mean we stuff down hurts that need healing or ignore lessons that should be learned. It means we no longer let our past negatively influence our present and future. God has forgiven us and called us. Let’s press on.

Press on. What parts of your past are you most likely to hold onto? How do you see it impacting your life today, as well as your future? Spend some time in reflection and prayer, being honest about how your past may be impacting you negatively. Release it to God so you can press on to the future.

Use your Philippians Guidebook to reflect and respond. For a digital copy of the guidebook, visit

Want to go deeper? Look up the following verses to see what an Old Testament prophet said about dwelling on the past versus pressing on toward the future. Note what you observe and then continue with your time of response.

Isaiah 43:15-19

Rebel's Guide to Joy