I’ve often wondered what causes these spiritual plateaus. While there are probably a lot of different reasons I think there are three main reasons we hit spiritual plateaus. The first is not doing what we know to do. I’m a big believer that while having a thriving spiritual life can be hard work, it’s not complicated. There are basic spiritual disciplines that we do to have a thriving spiritual life and we do them and keep doing them. Problems often arise when we get away from basic things.
The second reason we plateau is an unwillingness to change. You see growth requires change. This is a rule without exception. As I grow in my knowledge of the truth, it should result in a change in my life.
The third reason we plateau, and the one I’ll focus on today, is that we live in the past. Living in the past guarantees that we will not move forward in our spiritual lives. If we are to move forward in 2018 then we must forget, or let go of, the past.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
I think there are two aspects of our past we have to forget:
Forget My Past Failures. Paul’s list of past mistakes were pretty strong (See Acts 8:1-3, Acts 9:1-2, Acts 26:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:13). Like Paul, our past mistakes can be pretty intense. If we aren’t careful we can let our past mistakes keep us so beat down that we don’t feel we could ever really move forward. After all, look at our past. A past filled with sin and failure could very well cause us to determine that we can’t move forward in 2018. We must forget, and let go of, our past sin and failures. We do this by trusting Scripture.
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)
Why are you beating yourself up over something that God has forgotten? Some may say, “But Stacy, it was yesterday.” The Bible has an answer for that as well.
“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
Today is a new day, start fresh with Jesus forget your past failures. Your past failures do not define or determine your future with Christ. Forget your past failures and move forward with Christ.
Forget My Past Victories. That probably sounds strange at first but hear me out. The problem with focusing on our victories is that this can lead us to complacently live in the past. One of my favorite examples of this comes from one of the greatest movies of all time Napoleon Dynamite? The hero of the movie Napoleon has an uncle named Rico. When we first meet uncle Rico he is out in a field by his van, he has a camera set up on a stand and throwing footballs over the top of it. He gets a call and goes to Napoleon’s house. There he shows Napoleon and his brother the video. As the show progresses we discover that uncle Rico was a football star in 1982 and has never gotten over the “glory days.” He is still trying to live in 1982.
If we are not careful we become Rico Christians who are stuck in a certain place in our spiritual lives. We can talk about the days when God spoke to us through His Word constantly, when our prayers seemed to shake heaven and it seemed like we were growing daily. But if asked what God is doing in our lives today we stutter and stammer and finally get out that ’82 sure was a great year.
We cannot get comfortable in our spiritual lives. Comfort leads to complacency and complacency leads to apathy. When we are comfortable, complacent and apathetic our lives never change. We never respond to God’s Word or His Spirit. We don’t do much. We just stay the same week after week, year after year. This is exactly what a plateau is. It is getting stuck at one place and not making any forward progress. We often get there by focusing on the glory days. This is why we cannot rest on our past victories or progress. We build on our past victories but we don’t live there. We forget, and let go of, our past victories and move forward with Christ.
What past sin and failures are holding you back? Take time today and meditate on the verses I listed. Meditate on them until you believe that they are true for you.
What past victories are you resting on? Take time today and thank God for the victories of the past and then ask for His help to not become complacent and rest in them.
This post was written by Rev Ross. You can find his original post here: stacyjross.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/forget-the-past/