Tuesday, November 10, 2020
My past is gone...
My past is gone...
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
The world will tell you that the dominating influence in your life is your past. If you came from a difficult home, that will determine the direction of your life. If your culture was treated unfairly, that will dictate the condition of your life today. If you were hurt or abused or if your youth was spent in rebellion, the remainder of your life will be spent struggling with your past.
Christians, on the other hand, live in freedom because Christ has overcome our past. The “old things” have been done away with and “new things” have come (2 Cor. 5:17). God has so totally forgiven the Christian's sin that He chooses not to remember it (Isa. 43:25). Christians do not forget the past, but we are not controlled or motivated by it. The Christian looks to the future with hope.
The people of the world focus on what they are overcoming. Christians focus on what they are becoming. Christians know that the Holy Spirit is conforming them into the image of Christ. Christians know that eventually every injustice will be addressed and every hurt comforted. They know that Satan, and death itself, will finally be brought to an end. The Christian's future is so full and rich and exciting that it supersedes whatever happened in the past.
If you are preoccupied with your past, ask God to open your eyes to the incredible future that awaits you and begin, like Paul, to press on to what is ahead. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Oh how Satan uses our past. Mine, yours, everyone's past is the first thing thrown into our faces.
For some it's horrific it's there before them day by day, minute by minute. For others it's fleeting, it comes and goes.
The past can drive people to overcompensate. Their family was one way and they are driven to go the other.
Their childhood was lived in scarcity of things that make up what's believed to be a good childhood and they run the other way.
I certainly am no stranger to having my past thrown in my face. It is as I said, Satan's favorite thing. It was horrible for me. Until about 5 years ago a whole lot of that burden held me down in many areas of my life. The release was oh so profound. The release began after a Sunday night service. I honestly felt like I was crawling out from under something to grab ahold of the alter at the end of the service. I was crying. That night was the beginning. The following Sunday night service it happened again. That service marked the turning point of letting go.
Jesus Himself points out how the past is tossed back at you when He visited His own hometown. He said that a man is not without honor except in his own hometown. People easily remind you of how you used to be.
Jesus is in the business of saving people. Not just from their sins, but from themselves. He heals the wounds nobody can see. He heals the wounds people do see. He forgets the past of a believer by choice.
We who are in Christ have no past to be reminded of. If you aren't in Christ, my friend, all that is there WILL be used against you to keep you from the freedom found in Christ Jesus.
You will be told you aren't good enough.
You will be told that you've done too much.
You will be told that your sins are too great.
You will be told of every single bad thing you have ever done over and over again to show you how God would never want you.
You will be told that your family did horrible things, you are condemned to also do horrible things.
You will be told that everything you have built up for yourself in life will have to go if you choose to come to Christ.
You will be buried in the chains of your past, your families past...but my friend realize this...those chains are broken and fall away when you cry out to Jesus to save you.
They are no match for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They are no match for the one who forgives and forgets your past. Who sees you for who you will be in Christ.
The hardest part of those 2 evenings was me forgiving me. I was angry at me for my sin. I was condemning myself because of my sins. I wasn't showing myself the forgiveness that Christ gave me. He removed the chains and for decades I kept standing in the midst of them trying to put them back on!
Have you? Have you been forgiven by your Savior only to try to do the same?
We have a hope, but not just a hope, a living hope in Jesus. Saved or unsaved at this point, know that either your past will be used against you or it will be the chains that immobilize your life.
The answer to both is found in the freedom of a life with Christ Jesus.