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Creflo Dollar — I Don't Live in My Past


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I've said this before and I want to call this message this tonight, "I Have a Past, But I Don't Live there." Say it out loud, "I have a past, but I don't live there." Now, sometimes there are people in your life or around you who will try to do things to make you live in that past. But say it again, "I have a past, but I don't live there." Your past does not have to poison your future.

Your past does not have to poison your future. Your past influences, and I want to say this, I don't make light of this, but your past influences you, but it cannot define you. Your past influences you up to a point, but it cannot define you. You are not your past. Say "I am not my past." Say it again, "I am not my past."


Now, I want you to go with me to the book of Philippians chapter 3 because you're like, "Well, why are you talking about this?" Because I am finding that a lot of people are being paralyzed in their present, never getting to their future because they're living in their past. And the Apostle Paul said something that was so amazing, Philippians chapter 3, and verse 13 and 14. I want to get right into this tonight.

Now, here's the Apostle Paul, and if you're not aware of his past, he had a past. And his past was full of persecuting the church. It wasn't good. He persecuted almost every Christian. He was a very religious man, he lived by the law, and even was responsible for putting a lot of Christians to death.

I don't know if there's anything worse than have to carry with you the responsibility of knowing that people are dead because of you. And the Apostle Paul was talking about this grace and the things that he was learning. And he says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended."

Now, when you talk about the word "apprehend," you're talking about grasping something. You're talking about understanding something. He says, "I count not myself to have grasped the whole full understanding of this, to understand or to grasp this whole thing." He says, "but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Verse 14, "I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Now, again I want you to notice some of the things that Paul was dealing with here. I'm going to start at verse 1 and just kind of read down to this so you can get a real heartbeat of what was going on here.

Verse 1, He said, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe."
Verse 2, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." Verse 3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and we rejoice in Christ Jesus, and we have no confidence in the flesh."
Verse 4, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh, if any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh." He says, "If anybody would do this," he said, "I would." And look at his qualifications.
Verse 5, he says, "I was circumcised on the eighth day of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin." He says, "I'm a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law. I'm a Pharisee."
Verse 6, "Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteous which is in the law, blameless."
Verse 7, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ."
Verse 8, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." 'Cause everything else was like dung that I could win Christ.
Verse 9, "And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Verse 10, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."
Verse 11, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
Verse 12, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."
Verse 13, "Brethren, I count not myself to have obtained or know it all or grasp it all," he said, "but this one thing I do."


Now, that's a powerful statement. Out of everything, he says, "This one thing I do, I forget those things which are behind and I reach forth unto those things which are before." Now, think about all of the things that he could've possible said he did. And in this verse of Scripture, I want you to notice these italicized words, verse 13, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended."

Now, "this" and "I do" are in italicized, they were added by the privilege of the translator, so I'm going to read this without that italicized. "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but one thing." He says, "Here's the one thing I understand. I understand this one thing."

What was the one thing that Paul said he had apprehended through all of what he had gone through? And he'd gone through a lot. What's the one thing that he said that he understands? Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching to those things that are before. Now, with everything that Paul went through, he said, "This is the thing that I've come to understand. You have to forget what's behind and reach to the things that are before."

You've got to do that. And the reason why you have to do that is what I want to talk to you about tonight. Just in case you kind of, like, don't pay attention to this and you say, "Well, amen, I'll work at it," I want to put it to a place where it's vital because Paul worked at this thing. It was vital that he could forget what's behind. It's vital that you and I can forget what's behind.

If the enemy is going to attack in any area, it will always be in this area of trying to tie you to what's behind. Nobody knows like you know what's behind. They may even look at things and say, "That's not a big deal," but they don't know how it impacted you, how it infected you, and how all of the different parts were involved in what was behind. I don't need to know what's behind.

Sometimes people come to my office, they want to start. I don't need to know that. I don't want to know that because Paul said, "I know this one, I've understood and come to understand this one thing, I have got to forget about those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before."

Now, this conjunction word, it's read like this, "So that I can reach to the things that are before me, I've got to forget what's behind me." So, the things that are before you, huh, are going to be, I mean, tied whether or not you reach them or not to whether or not you can deal what's behind you.

How many of you know people that are still re-running that same tape? Everybody has gone forward, and they're still re-running the same tape over and over and over again. And so, now the Apostle Paul begins to share some things here concerning reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time now for us to stretch and to reach to the things that are before. You've been hanging out in your past too long. Tonight, I've come to tell you let's cut the cord. You know, when a baby's born, you got to cut the cord. It's time to cut the cord.

Now, the future is what's on the line here. The future calling, the future anointing, the future assignment, the future mission, the soul that God has coming down your path just for you to mention, just for you to minister to, just for you to influence. You don't know who could be coming down that path. And what if you're not focused, or you're distracted from your past that you miss your divine appointment for your future? There was a divine appointment for your future.
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