Someone told me once that it’s really hard to drive a car forward if you’re always looking in the rear view mirror. So true. It can be done but not very well. You’re very likely to go off course, miss the beauty of the atmosphere or miss your destination. In the same way, living your life with your eyes on the past can cause serious impairment. We all have a past. It’s natural to look to the past for memories or guidance from a loved one. It’s fun to “remember when”. Having said that, there’s some things in the past that need to stay there. Unfortunately, we seem to often carry that baggage with us everywhere we go. We wonder why we’re so exhausted and our joy is zapped. It probably has a lot to do with those extremely heavy bags we’re carrying! The Lord wants us to drop those bags and exchange them for the freedom He came to give us!
We all have something we wish we would’ve done in our lives. We all have something we wish we wouldn’t have done. We’ve said things. We’ve had hard things said to us. We’ve been hurt. We probably, truth be told, have hurt others. The list of “ailments” goes on forever. You could never exhaust all the bad things that have happened in this broken world. Let me say, it’s sad and pain is real. Nobody in the world denies that. I’m sorry for the hardships you’ve had or are having to face as an individual. However, God has a future for you filled with good things. So let’s get to the good part!
I think the apostle Paul said it best. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT) Paul definitely had a colorful past. Jesus completely transformed him and he’s teaching people that time is of the essence. He can’t focus on the past because the present and future are far too great. I’m sure most of us get entangled with situations from our past and become hyper focused sometimes. The good news is Christ came to set us free of that bondage. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” (Isaiah 61:1 NLT) Sounds great, right? So how is this accomplished in our lives? We accept Jesus as our Savior and let Him do His work. This work is a process.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NLT) It’s the “changing the way you think” part that is so crucial for you to unload the baggage. Here’s an example. When the enemy accuses you of something you’ve done in your past and lies to you about how that’s ruined your chances of “whatever”, you’re at a choice point. You can chain yourself to that and camp out there or you can see what Jesus says about that situation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT) Jesus sees you as new! The old stuff is gone! If that’s how God sees it, we should certainly want Him to train us to see things His way. Old habits are hard to break. This transformation takes time but you become stronger in the process and lose the chains. Pretty soon you will be able to ignore the voices that taunt you. God’s Word IS the anecdote to all of the enemy’s lies. I’ve experienced His grace enabling me to move pass some situations in my past through His Word. His Word Is Truth.
I know the enemy is probably trying to convince you that the freedom Christ offers is for everyone else except you. He’s probably arguing that your situation is different. That could not be further from the truth. You are on your way to gaining ground and he’s losing territory. The fact is, Jesus is for you and wants you to walk in freedom. He doesn’t want you weighed down with things that He’s already paid the debt for. He’s got a bright future for you just because you belong to Him. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT) Please take God at His Word and let Him help you in moving passed your past.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.