Thursday, January 20, 2011

What to do with your past

In my last blog post I began to talk about “Mental Darkness”. So many people are in a dark place in their mind. The greatest battle most of us will fight will take place in our mind. If the devil can control your mind then he can control your entire person. The Bible teaches how important this principle is. In fact we are told that the church is like a body, Christ being the head or the mind. We are encouraged to pray to have the “mind of Christ.”

I have stated that there are many things that will cause a person to be in a dark state of mind. In my previous blog I wrote about burdens. In this one I want to talk about something else that will cause you to be in a dark mental place, your past.

When you look back over your shoulder what do you see? Do you see things that bring you joy and satisfaction, or do you see things that bring sorrow and heartbreak? One thing that we have to learn to do is to forget the things that are in the past. Paul teaches us in Philippians 3:13-14 that the best thing to do with your past is to “forget about it.”

This is easier said than done. God has blessed every one of us with a special gift called a memory. A memory is a blessing. It’s great to remember your child’s first steps, the day you were married, or the day you were saved.

While there are things that we are supposed to remember there are other things that we are to forget. Too many people go through life crippled by the things that they have done in the past. Let me give you a few things that you should forget.

Let me quickly list a few things you should just forget about.

Stupidities – Let’s face it, we have all done some pretty stupid things. We are going to make mistakes. No doubt there are things in your past that you wish you could change. Sometimes it seems that we can’t do right for doing wrong. You’re not alone if you feel this way.

Remember the story of Peter. Peter was good at two things. One, he was good at making stupid mistakes. Second, he was good at picking himself up, brushing off his pants, and going on. In Matthew we are told the story of Peter walking on the water. You know the story; he takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to sink. I would imagine when Peter makes it back to the boat, and climbs back in he is soaked with water, shivering from the cold and shocked and embarrassed. If that would have been me I maybe would have just quit, but not Peter. We all know the story of Peter denying the Lord on three occasions. We also know the story of Peter standing up on the day of Pentecost. Peter preached one of the greatest messages the world has ever heard and 3,000 people gave their life to Christ. Peter messed up from time to time, but he did not quit.

If you have done something stupid in the past, don’t quit. Pick yourself up, make it right with God and move on. Just forget about it.

Sensitivities - Our world is filled with competition, rivalries, and people with different personalities. It is going to happen; people are going to get their feelings hurt. Many times when we get our feelings hurt we are not able to move forward from it. We stew over it, make plans to get even and carry ill feelings. You would be surprised how many people today are holding onto a grudge.

If you continue to hold onto that grudge it will not be long before you find yourself in a very dark place. The best thing that you can to with those hurt feelings, is just forget it. Forget those things that are behind. Your sensitive nature is hurting you more than anyone else. Your sensitive nature may be inhibiting your walk with God, damaging the relationship you have with your spouse and splitting your family apart.

Remember the story of Haman in the book of Esther? When Mordecai would not bow to him it hurt his feelings. Haman refused to let go of those hurt feelings and eventually it turned into bitterness and anger. This bitterness led him to attempt to have all the Jewish people killed, just to get back at Mordecai. As I said however, your sensitivity will hurt you more than anyone else. Haman was the one who lost his life, along with the lives of his ten children. What is your sensitive nature costing you?

Sorrows - This can be hard to do, but if we are not able to forget about past sorrows then it will bring us to a dark place. Perhaps this year death has knocked on the door of your family. If death did not knock on your door, it will soon. If death did come let me say as loving as I know how, “forget it.” Let me clarify and say that I am not asking you to forget your loved one. I’m asking you to forget your sorrow.
If you are in a dark place please read the story of David in 2 Samuel 12:15-23. The life of David’s child hung in the balances. David wept, fasted and prayed for a solid week. If you read the story you will find that the child eventually dies. Once word came that the child was dead, David picked himself up, cleaned his face, ate, and worshipped God.

If this is you then maybe you need to pick yourself up, and move forward. You can’t bring them back, but one day you will see them again. They can’t live again, but you can live. That is what you should do, live.

Sin - The Bible teaches us that we are all going to sin. The Bible also teaches us that when we sin, we should confess those sins and then move on. I wonder if God gets tired of us reminding Him of our past.

“Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.”   Jeremiah 31:34

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”   Psalm 103:12

One of the hardest things in the world to do is to forget the past, but it may be the best thing you can do.

You can watch this lesson taught live by clicking on the link to the right.

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