The Apostle Paul never would've obtained his tremendous position of spiritual maturity if he hadn't been willing to throw off the chains of the past and consistently bring the thoughts of his past into captivity and submission to the Word of God. All of his past battles, failures, and victories could've bound him like a heavy chain so that he wouldn't have been able to press on to victory.
Paul is used as an example to us as Christians. He was called of God to do a certain thing ... and so are we. We'll never accomplish them if we keep living in the past and keep letting the devil side-step us from the goal that God gave us.
Hebrews 12:2 ... Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Paul said to "throw off the past and look to Jesus, considering how He endured". Don't be fooled by the battle ... endure it like Jesus did.
Did Jesus ever have second thoughts? "I wish that I hadn't come down here for this task. I had some victories back there. Why did I put Myself in this situation?" He didn't say this or even think this because He only said and did what the Father told Him to say and do ... and the Father did not tell Him to say and do those things.
You won't see that anywhere in the Bible. Jesus was always looking to the future, always looking to the end where "IT IS FINISHED!" He knew what His earthly task was, and it was accomplished. We just have to do our part to keep it maintained.
Reverend Robert W. & Mary C. Butler