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Can You Choose What To Forget?

For a very long time, remembering whatever we choose has been almost effortlessly done so well. However, forgetting whatever we choose seems almost impossible.

This year, I am making a decision have made a decision to INTENTIONALLY forget what should be forgotten.

Choose To Forget

Every day. In each moment. Life is constantly giving us opportunities to make choices as to what we remember. Each day holds many different moments; some painful, joyful, confusing, happy, peaceful, angry and loving. It is up to us as to which ones we remember.

Our memories can't hold all these moments, so the ones we choose to remember are important, for we will learn and grow from them. It is a little like selecting the best picture from a stack of proofs.

Easy but not very simple.

Or, is it just me? Do you tend to also have clearer memories of the moments you really really want to forget?

I thought so too.

Painful and sad memories linger more.

The memories you don't want to remember pop up in your head every now and then. The ones when you messed up big time. The ones when you got distracted from the things that matter.  The ones when something you so loved was taken away from you. The ones when you did the things you would never ever want anyone else to know. The ones when the demon in you was let loose. The ones when you were wrongly accused. The list goes on.

But, have you tried to forget the ones you really really don't want to forget?

Joyful and sweet memories are hard to let go of. 

It is easy to think of memories as something you can actively strengthen, whereas forgetting is a passive process. But I have started to discover it can be intentional too.

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I was listening to Steven Furtick's New Year Eve's message on YouTube this morning when he said 'manage your memory'. It served as a confirmation of what the Spirit shared with my family for the New Year. We have to FORGET what has to be FORGOTTEN. It is the Word of God!

"Forget the former things, nor dwell on the things that happened long ago. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
— Isaiah 43:18-19

To be honest, I spent a lot of time pondering what God was saying.

I was perplexed by the word “forget.” There are many events in my past I don't want to forget; for instance, the horrific day in Lagos when bombs exploded and shook the entirety of Ikeja Axis. Indeed, we are told to remember so history won’t repeat these tragedies. Yet, our world is broken and tragedies continue all around us.

You see, God’s desire is for us to move forward, not backwards, regardless of how much we long to remember both our painful and joyous moments. This is part of the reasons I'm not a big fan of #Throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday on social media. *Insert a nice lol here please. Lol*

For real though. Here's some light (proof) on this principle, as it is mentioned throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testament:

Proof 1: In Genesis, as God is calling Lot to new lands, his wife looks back and what happens? She becomes a pillar of salt.
This seems a cruel fate, but God wanted obedience and looking back was not an option.

As we fast forward past this verse in Isaiah 43 and move towards the New Testament, we see so many examples of God’s desire for us to move forward, forgetting the former things.

Proof 2: In Matthew, we read about the disciples dropping their nets immediately, never looking back to their past – their occupations and their familiar homes – in order to follow Christ (Matthew 4:20).

Proof 3: Later in Matthew, we read about his disciples say to Him, "Lord let me first go and bury my father." And Jesus replied, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:21-22)
While this seems a bit heartless, God was speaking with urgency to look ahead and not behind.

Proof 4: Likewise, in Luke Jesus proclaims, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
I could spend a whole separate article on this one-liner alone!

And if this isn’t plenty of proof that looking back is not what God desires for us. Hear Paul out. . .

Proof 5: In Philippians 3:14, Paul explicitly stated his own goal is to press forward to receive the prize. He knew that in order to move on, he had to forget about all of his past victories and glories and move on to what it was that God wanted for him.

Therefore, it is fairly safe to say that we must FORGET ‘our’ former things to take hold of what God has for us today and tomorrow.

Are former things from your past holding you back, e.g. the wrong people, old conflicts, prior mistakes, flawed thinking, past achievements? We Christians can still get caught up in the former things that God wants us to forget.

If this is you, do not dwell on the past. Instead, move forward, and dwell on the new things Christ has for you. He is like, See, I am doing a new thing! It has already started! Can't you see it?

Whatever happened last year is nothing compared to what God is set to do for us this year. I'm so excited!!! On the otherhand, I'm quite worried that my experience of the New Things may just be dependent on how much I am willing to forget. For someone who is so keen in keeping memories, that might be a struggle. But

 I will chose to forget! 

"But forget all that--it is nothing compared to what I am going to do."
—  Isaiah 43:18, NIV

". . .Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,"
— Philippians 3:13b

We have to forget the former things, just like the Israelites were instructed to do, so God can show us the new things He is doing. How amazing is that?

Happy New Year!
2019 - The Year Of Birthing!

Share your received Word for the year in the comment box below, if you can.

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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Heart Rays . . . giving light.

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