I have a PSA for you today:
Sometimes we forget this. We forget that mistakes made in the past do not determine our future. Our enemy banks on this. He will do anything he can to make us feel that we are stuck in a vicious cycle with nothing but our past to haunt us.
It is in those very moments when we feel powerless to repeat the past, that we actually hold the most power. This is the take home message I got from this week’s chapter in “Fervent”.
Sometimes we want to hide from our past and pretend it never happened. We don’t want our past to be our story, so instead we pretend otherwise.
It is easier to cover up than to uncover.
It is easier to hide than it is to face the music.
It is easier to hold on that to let go.
Easier to put on than to take off.
I’m going to do something different for this post, instead of polishing up my notes to present to you, I’m going to just copy my notes and thoughts from reading this chapter, so what you read below are my raw thoughts regarding our pasts.
- Agree that these can be nasty video clips that incite shame and guilt upon replaying them in our heads over and over again.
- Realizing the past has no power over us means you are free from thinking you will fall into the same traps.
- We lose our crutch- this is how I am and always have been- but we are not doomed to repeat the past.
- Sometimes we are haunted by our past, but in reality it has shaped us to who we are today.
Where would we be without our past? Without a past, how do we learn from our mistakes so we know that without a shadow of doubt we are not doomed to repeat them?
We never suffer through our pain in vain, In fact we are called to boast in our weakness.
Next time Satan tries to hold your past over you- THROW IT BACK IN HIS FACE! Boast in your shame and guilt and bad decisions and past sins because by doing so you display God’s redeeming grace!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
You know who had a nasty past, our friend the Apostle Paul. In fact Paul wasn’t always Paul, before Jesus transformed him, he was Saul.
Saul was known for “intensely persecuting” followers of Jesus.
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers Galatians 1:13–14, NIV
He doesn’t try to hide who he was or what he did. He openly admits who he was formerly, BUT THEN…
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. Galatians 1:11-16, NIV
Paul wasn’t ashamed of his past because he knew that it was was just his story, it was no longer who he was. He was able to grasp the fullness of who he was in Christ because he admitted the emptiness that he has without him.
We can grasp the fullness of God in us because we admit the emptiness we experienced before Him.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Ephesians 2:1-2
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved Ephesians 2:4-5
Wear your past proudly because it is a testament to what Jesus has done for you. You can’t have a past without a present or a present without a future, and in Christ, that is exactly what we have!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Celebrate how far you’ve come now and celebrate where he will continue to take you!