Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Worth of Your Past

I see what’s right with my past

How I dreaded a visit to that place
That place where all my hurt unfolds
That place where my guilt is magnified
That place where my mistakes stare me in the face;
Too often on my onward journey
You have made me go back
After the visit my heart sinks, I hide in my closet
And I say, Oh God, my past has done it again!

How foolish was I not to discern
That each time You took me back was for a reason
To show me how You’ve been there through it all
To show me I am a conqueror through Christ Jesus;
Why were my eyes not enlightened
To see that You were teaching me that You had overcome all things
Yet I was listening to the lies of the enemy
And making no progress in life;

Now I am ready to embark on this visit
And be ready to take the lessons you want me to learn
Rather than giving in to self-condemnation
But accepting that I am indeed a new creature;
From now on I choose to see what’s right with my past
And not pray that it goes away
For every thing that happened was for a reason
And I make the best of today because of lessons from yesterday;

I just want you to know that I treasure my past
And I am ready to go visiting with you
For my past is the only memento I have
Of your love and faithfulness
And my reassurance
That you will always be here for me.

The Inspiration
When the doctor asked Ejiro what were the symptoms of his illness, he replied, “I have a sore throat, I feel feverish, I have been having dry cough, my mouth tastes bitter in the morning…” He hesitated for a while then continued, “Doctor, I used to smoke even as a born-again Christian. I suppose this is a terminal disease as a result of that!”

The doctor, who was taking down notes looked up at Ejiro and said, “You simply have symptoms of Malaria and that can be treated. This is rainy season and every day I see patients with the same symptoms. Most people fall sick because they call sickness. There is nothing terminal about what you are experiencing.”

It was clear that Ejiro believed that his past had control over him. He was living in his past. The past should not be your dwelling place but something which you take lessons from as you move forward. This is one thing we should do: forget those things which are behind, and reach forth to those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus [Philippians 3:13-14]. But the Devil is awake devising strategies to steal, kill and destroy. So he brings to your remembrance the things of your past which you so desire to forget. For example, a man who was a homosexual before giving his life to Christ. The devil reminds him of this and goes ahead to tell him it is possible he will never get married because no woman will ever want him on knowing the truth. Strange but true, this thing called “Past” has been an unwelcome august visitor in the lives of many. Sometimes we find ourselves there – it does not have to come to us. Whether it comes or whether we go there, it can be associated with bad news, destruction (friendship, families, self-worth, faith, etc). It even causes inferiority complex. Scientists have realized how annoying this “Past” can be and have developed drugs to help erase the past.

Now before you take the drugs:
The past is not always about bad news. There is also hope for the future. The Word of God says “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]. The moment you confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour, you are a new creature. The original translation of the new creature meant the creature never existed before. Such a creature never had a past. God forgives and forgets everything concerning the past of such a person.

The worth of your past is that God was with you all through the experiences you had. You are alive today to tell someone, “don’t drive after drinking,” and this saves his life rather than focusing on the death of your friend that night you drove after drinking (and saying you will never forgive yourself for it). You are alive today to tell that young girl, “don’t tease your uncle” rather than telling yourself that the rape incident will imprison you from a life of joy and happiness. A lady said when she was an unbeliever she had 6 abortions but now she’s a born-again Christian and married, she’s scared that she may not take in. What nonsense has the devil done? If she was still an unbeliever probably she may not have given conception a thought and would have taken in again but all of a sudden the enemy reminds her of her past and she feels taking in a 7th time might be an issue. Dear friend, God did not put six eggs in your womb. HE put millions in there.

Whenever something happens in your life and you are tempted to say “It is because of bla bla bla that I did yesterday…” quickly recognize that it is the spirit of self-condemnation. Use the truth of the Word of God to counter such negative thoughts. Self-condemnation is one of the deceptions of the devil so you could keep your eyes on yourself and not focused on Jesus Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Romans 8:1].

Try to see what’s right with your past. I agree that we are where we are today because of the places we’ve been, people we’ve met and words we’ve said, but more importantly we are here today because HE gave us another day. So many people that have passed through what you’ve been though did not make it to this day. They don’t have a past to worry about but they don’t have today or a future either.

Today is another chance to experience the love and awesomeness of God. HE has given you another day to bless you (not to curse you). HE is a good God. Today you can reflect HIS glory. Today you can be a testimony. Today you can save a soul. Today somebody can be blessed because of your past.

Letting go of the past is not easy but it is accomplishable, a gradual process with the help of the Holy Spirit. I was blessed by the message in PLUGIN “Let Go, It’s over” and I encourage you to read it. As you daily renew your mind with the Word of God, you will realize that you are blessed, and visiting your past will be like visiting an amusement park. You will laugh not cry. HE has redeemed you and restored you. He has restored the joy of your salvation.

Have a lovely day and look forward to tomorrow.

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