“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.
– Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
Ritual sacrifice was the initial form of prayer as we read in the old testament. The sacrifice took place on an altar. Before each sacrifice, the priests had to clear the ashes from the altar and carry them outside the Temple. (Leviticus 6:8 – 11)
Why did the priests need to clear away the ashes? Because a flame burns brighter when there are no ashes underneath.
The same is true with our lives. They shine more brightly when the ashes — the residue of the past that sticks incessantly to us — is cleared away.
As simple as this message may sound, it is not so easily imbibed. Many times we remember the past; failures, missed opportunities, offenses, abuses, and grudges more clearly than the good times. the testimonies, words of affection and appreciation.
Yet, if we dwell on the ashes, the past, we miss the beauty of the light. If we continue to hold offenses or grudges and think of the regrets instead of the opportunities, we overlook the presence of the blessings.
Life doesn’t give us enough time for both.
To pray effectively and experience restoration, forget and clear away sin, grudges, offenses, and the ‘what ifs’. Press forward with fresh hope and expectation in full assurance of faith.
In Jesus Name I clear the ashes away from the altar of my heart. I let go of all regrets, past mistakes, grudges, and offenses. I forget what is behind and I stretch towards what is ahead. I press on into full restoration of all things. I press on to accomplish my call and purpose in Christ Jesus today and Always. Amen