There is a snare the devil catches us in often and Paul addressed it in Philippians 3:13-14. He wrote,”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. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
You see, so many live in failure, unable to break out of their old life, and they never achieve the life that Jesus died to make possible for them. Why is that? They look at their past mistakes and judge their future by them. “Once a failure, always a failure”. Or so the devil would have them believe.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Can you ride a bicycle? If so, did you just get on it one day and ride it and never fall off? Were you instantly an expert in your vocation the first time you tried it? Of course not. Every master of a skill failed many times before becoming good at it. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the perfect light bulb on the first attempt. There’s an old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” But the devil would have you believe if you’ve failed before, you’ll just keep on failing. The world is full of people who have been in failure mode their whole life, and the devil intends to add your name to his lengthy list of wrecked lives.

 Maybe you’ve been abused in the past. Will living and dwelling on that hurt get you where you really want to go? Maybe you’ve made unwise decisions in the past. Will continuing to do so help you achieve your goals? Of course not. As my beloved Pastor says, Get over it. There must be a change in your thinking. Yes, change is hard. Most people don’t want to hear that they will need to make changes. It’s sort of like a river, water will take the course of least resistance. Water seeks the easiest path to flow in. And people, maybe even you, will live in a bad situation rather than make changes to improve it.
The devil knows you want to be free of old hurts, old grudges, bad habits, sickness, poverty and dismay. But he is betting on your human nature to resist change. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt with most of it’s gold and treasures, through the wilderness, they started complaining to him before long, and they wanted to go back into slavery in Egypt, because they ate better as slaves than they were eating out there. You see, nothing has changed in all these thousands of years. Men still resist change. We all do. It’s in our carnal nature.
We cry and moan to God when things don’t go right, just like we have done forever. We feel, oh, so sorry for ourselves because of past suffering, and we walk in continual feelings of rejection because we reject the Word of God. Paul said he forgot those things which were behind. Why? Because God has better things ahead!
Jesus told of our nature so well in Luke 5:38, saying, “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” Jesus wasn’t talking about wine here, but our stubborn resistance to change. Jesus said forgive your enemy and pray for him. Do we want to do that? NO! We would rather feel sorry for ourselves about how we have been hurt and bellyache and make excuses, rather than change and be free.
Many would rather live in poverty than change poor stewardship habits and succeed.

 Everyone wants to succeed, but most aren’t willing to pay the price of success by living a disciplined life. A drug addict wants to be free, but usually is not willing to go through the discomfort of withdrawal in order to end the addiction. Instead, they choose the path of least resistance, like water.  Is it easy to get a new mindset and make changes? Desire comes easy. Words are cheap. Action takes sacrifice. As it is said, “Any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” You will find it is easy to want change. But it takes real boldness to face issues that have kept you bound up for years. Changing is not for wimps.
But Paul had the solution: forget past hurts and failures. They wouldn’t take him where he wanted to go. He couldn’t live yesterday over again to change it. Yesterday is gone forever. Today is a new day. Why not do as Paul did, and just forget the past, and press into the high calling and the prize of God in Christ Jesus? God said He is our exceeding great reward. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the prize of the high calling of God, over all my hurts and heartaches of the past any day!
Why waste even one more minute of your life sorrowing over your hurts? Do they bring you joy? Then why dwell on them? Yes, it can be different tomorrow! You can leave rejection, poverty thinking, depression and worry behind you. You can live free from sadness and worry.

You can change your life. It isn’t a question of can you, but rather, will you?
Jesus said you can cast all your cares upon Him. It is written in 1 Peter 5:7-9, “Casting all your care upon Him: for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
As I said earlier, most people resist change. There are actually prisoners who have been in jail so long that they will not get up and leave, even if the door is left open. That sounds pretty dumb, but it’s true. They’ve been in captivity so long that it is easier for them to stay in bondage than for them to get up and be free. How about you? Jesus shed His blood to set you free, and release you from everything that holds you captive. He cancelled your sin debt. He forgave your sins. He offered to shoulder all your pain and hurt. He offers you healing for spirit, soul, and body. He did it for you personally!
Are you going to walk free and face life today a free person in Christ Jesus, or will you stay bound up in the past? Will you be the success that Jesus designed you to be, or will you just keep believing the lies of the devil, that you can do nothing but stay like you are?
The choice is not mine, but yours. Christ Jesus made you free, that was God’s decision. He is now waiting for your decision. You can’t blame God or people anymore if you won’t accept the free gift of God. Yes, you will have to make changes. The first one is the hardest. It’s saying “YES, JESUS!” At that time, you are no longer the dead fish floating downstream. God gives you new life to swim upstream, where real life begins! You see, the past is dead. Real life is ahead!