This may sound like one long ramble, and I apologize ahead of time. However, if you endure to the end, you will find I do reach a conclusion. I anticipate reading your conclusions as well!
Today I am meditating on forgetting, yet remembering. In Isaiah 43:18-19, God instructs us NOT to remember the former things, nor to consider the “things of old.” Yet, a few chapters later He tells us we ARE to remember the “things of old” because He is God and there is no other; He is God and there is none like Him (Is 46:9). His Word commands both and we know there are NO contradictions with our Lord. Ugh, can you see why I become so confused? This is why we must take all of God’s word, chew on it for a while, spit it back up, and then chew on it some more. Sounds not only tedious, but kind of gross, I know. However, the result is well worth the effort and risk.
While meditating on this thought, I am lead to Paul’s words of forgetting those things which were behind in order to reach forward to that which lies ahead (Phil 3:13-14). So, maybe forgetting assists us in moving forward. Ok… if remembering keeps us from moving forward, is it because of the types of things we are remembering? Is it that we are supposed to not remember the bad, ugly things of our past? No, that can’t be, since I’m convinced that God allows some of the most difficult times in life to teach, train, and draw us closer to Him (such as the life of Job: James 5:11). So, it’s not about forgetting the bad and remembering the good (my previously referred scriptures say nothing of that anyway).
After more chewing and spitting up, I go to the words of 1 Chronicles 16:12- Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth. For now (and if I am wrong God will reveal even this to me, maybe through you!), I find my answer in this small verse. The purpose of remembering is to recall what God has done (His marvelous works and wonders) in my life and in the lives of those who have left us a testimony. I am told to forget however, because I cannot move forward if I am stuck in one place, focused on the things I have or haven’t done. Focusing on my successes can lead to pride, while focusing on my failures can lead to doubt, fear, or frustration. In short, it comes down to removing myself - forgetting the 'me' of the past, and focusing solely on Christ- remembering who 'He' is and what 'He' has done. This will strengthen my faith and grow my love and knowledge of Him. I must take me out of the equation! Clear as mud? J