Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal. (Phil. 3:13–14)

IT IS GOOD TO KNOW where you have been, but it is better to know where you are going. Rearview mirrors are a valuable accessory on a vehicle but will never take the place of a windshield. With a mirror, you look back. With a windshield, you look forward.

Remembering where you have been is good for counting your blessings and recounting the lessons you learned. But looking forward is critical for moving toward your destination. Life ceases to be productive if you get stuck reliving the past and are not challenged to move into the future. What has been contains markers of God’s provision. What will be contains the mission of God’s plan. What He has been to you in the past you will need Him to be to you as you move into the future.

Mile markers help you measure progress and know where you are in relation to where you began, but in the final assessment, missional destinations are more important than mile markers. Reaching your destination requires pressing on.

Moving forward in spite of obstacles and challenges is demanding. Pressing on suggests that you understand and accept the demands, recognizing that standing still or going back are not options. You are “pressing on the upward way,” so look back occasionally with gratitude, but keep your eyes on the prize.

You have not yet reached the goal, so don’t give up—keep pressing on.

Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH) and has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years.