Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13-14 ESV)
Whenever I read Philippians 3:13-14 I think “forgetting what lies behind” means the bad things I have done or my personal shortcomings that have resulted in undesirable outcomes. But that is not what Paul is talking about when he mentions “forgetting.”
What he is forgetting is his past righteousness. He is moving past anything that might give him a standing with God apart from Jesus Christ: like being a Pharisee of Pharisees, or having incredible zeal for God. Earlier in this chapter he has called all of his former righteousness dung, and now he says he is forgetting it.
This couldn’t be more refreshing. I tend to get historical with God when I don’t get my way: “God, I have served you wholeheartedly,” or “I have sacrificed a lot to serve you.” And any time I say these thoughts in my heart, what I am looking for is past obedience to secure a future good. I am counting on my righteousness to secure blessing from God.
That is exactly why I need to forget it. My eyes have swerved from Christ right back to myself. And I cannot press towards any goal with my eyes on myself. But when I look at Christ, I see the righteous One who went to the cross because of my disobedience—to pour out spiritual blessings in spite of me, not because of me.
When I see that grace, I can finally live free of the resume.