It was asked if we could simply skip over this chapter of the book. Without a doubt by the time we get to the end of this book; there will be a section that we’d all rather have skipped. To get to our place of forgiveness and ultimate intimate relationship with our Father we have to put all the cards on the table. So that – when things do get tough- Satan won’t have anything that we’ve hidden to throw up in our face. That being said, we will pursue on- with love and care.
“If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices. I’d want to keep you burdened by shame and guilt, in hopes that you’ll feel incapacitated by your many failings and see no point in even trying again. I’d work to convince you that you’ve had your chance and blown it—that your God may be able to forgive some people for some things, but not you… not for this.” (Shirer 93)
Every one of us have one of these… I am talking about…..our past. For some of us it stretches longer than others. Some have colorful, rebellious, abusive, or wild and free tales from our former days of glory. At some point in our lives we’ve all made decisions that we’d wish we could erase or blot from our memory and history.
For those of us that have been saved since childhood this can seem even more so challenging as we are a “Christian”. And now we’ve made a mistake- we don’t want others to know. We try to hide that knowledge so that it would not tarnish our appearance. We carry an unspoken guilt and shame.
The enemy is expert in making us feel that we are unforgiven and more than that – that we are unforgivable. It’s another lie – another one of his tricks.
Under optimal circumstances we would use that lapse in judgement or our mistakes to learn from and to hopefully prevent being rash or gullible the next time. God can and will use our circumstances to steer others in preventing unnecessary mistakes in their life.
We need to use our regrets as assets- real life – practical application of God’s grace and forgiveness in our lives.
If you’ve asked God’s forgiveness in your life over these matters in your past then-Why have you not moved on? Why do you still harbor feelings of anxiety in these areas?
I’m not saying that we pretend that things didn’t happen. Notice I haven’t listed or exampled any things suggestions of mistakes, sin, or wrongdoings. We all have things in our closet that we prefer to keep to ourselves. God has given us the power through his forgiveness to rise above the level of the assaults from the enemy.
Priscilla shared her experience- of pain, dread, and regret. How a simple road and signs had the power to jog emotion and familiarity loomed over her like with dread and fear. For each of us- the trigger may be different, but there is always one.
God doesn’t want you living captive in fear with stuff hanging over our head. That is a stumbling block and a hindrance to your service and in your prayer life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17)
If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior- you aren’t that old person any longer. The sins of yesterday are forgiven. You are new. In this transformation we carry with us a memory of the old person and their past. Why doesn’t God wipe away our memory with our sin? Because he wants us to remember where we came from- so we know how great Christ’s sacrifice was for me. It is so I can see the good and know what God has brought me out of.
So you weren’t saved yesterday. It’s been a few years. When was the last time you asked for forgiveness?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ( I John 1:9)
Done. Did you read the verse? Just that easy. We don’t have to chant, stand on one foot, or give large sums of money. All we have to do is ask God. How perfectly wonderful and free is that? No string attached.
Now where did those sins go?
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
They are gone- taken away. God doesn’t remember them (the sin) – he hauled them out with the dirty garbage. The enemy is the one going out to the trash heap digging through yesterday’s garbage with the intent on throwing it in your face the next time you are serving and working for God. This is why it’s so important to confess that sin before God.
Close your eyes: In this here ordinary trash can I have coffee grounds, banana peels, rotten potatoes, and onions, a dirty baby diaper, and all those things that you asked God to forgive you of in your past. Is there something right now that you’ve not asked God’s forgiveness over in your life?……The Holy Spirit will call it to your mind right now. …… Right this second, ask God’s forgiveness over this in your life.
Next: I want you to forgive yourself- so that you bear no more guilt for this.
Take this mental page in your mind and rip it out. Wad it up in a crumple and throw it away.
Open your eyes: Who wants to be first to stick their hand in there in the trash with the yucky garbage and pull their sin back out?
This is my point exactly: You wouldn’t want to do that because it’s nasty, dirty, filth, gooey, messy and will get all over you.
Instead of pulling those mistakes back out we need to leave them there. God wants to heal our wounds and apply that to our lives in his service. Tell someone as God opens the door how he has delivered you from that enslavement, sin, hold, and bondage. Tell of how His grace brought you out of a dark time- and how he held your hand and walked every step of the way. Give God the Glory for taking it from you so that you are no longer accountable of that sin.
You have asked for forgiveness. You have forgiven yourself. God has removed it and forgiven you. Now honor him with your loyalty and service and share the blessings bestowed upon you with others. Tell of his grace and mercy how he forgave you and made you clean.
If it were a sin committed against you–Grant forgiveness- the forgiveness isn’t for them sister, it’s for you. Grant forgiveness and walk away to live, wholly, full, and blessed. Using that opportunity- to strengthen your faith.
There is only one is truly capable of forgetting, and that is God himself. He is a perfect at forgetting. We humans are not so perfect at forgetting. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, living within us we can relabel those items in our past not as faults but rather as victories.
I realize we’ve dug up a subject that you thought you’d long buried and have tried so hard to forget about. – I’m not trying to make your issue small or insignificant- whether it’s something you did or was done to you.
Be thankful that for us God doesn’t live in the past. He has no limit on time. Second we live by his grace. God’s Grace. You’ve got mistakes, you’ve got bad choices, — God has this. Satan can’t brand you with something that God has forgiven you from. God is just that big – he’s big enough to forgive it all.
The enemy is the accuser of the brethren, trash heap digger, he can’t change the cross and he can’t compete with God’s forgiveness.
Only God can take our mistakes and transform them into a mountain of Grace that draws us closer and closer to him.
So instead of toting around guilt, shame, and regret for things you did, should of done, or didn’t do- or was done to you—move forward for a continual— grateful— heartfelt prayer.
We are all on this journey – we’ve all made mistakes. You and I are in common company.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Prayer is how we get our muscles stretching and moving again in our life. I like how Priscilla says: “And when we start applying prayer to particular muscle groups—like our confidence in Christ and His victory over our past—our whole body and our whole being start to percolate with fresh energy, with the blood-pumping results applied of faith.” (Shirer 100-101)
I just Love that – I wanna percolate some faith. 🙂
It’s time to leave the trash in the trash- Thank God for his forgiveness give him the glory and live free.