Receive God’s forgiveness, and look ahead to your future.
Have you ever noticed that God used the least likely people to do some of the most amazing things for Him? He chose the adulterer, the murderer, the thief, and the prostitute to pour His love and favor on. He used them as an example for us.
We’ve all been through so many things in our lives that if we were to sit down and tell them, we wouldn’t feel like we have the right to walk into church on Sunday morning. But why would we think God could use people like King David who was an adulterer and a murderer and Mary Magdalene who was a prostitute but not us? Why would we think that His blood wouldn’t cover our sins or our past?
The Lord said to me one time, “If you choose to live in the past that I’ve delivered you from, your life will be summed up in one word – regret.”
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You can’t drive through life looking in the rearview mirror.” There’s a reason the windshield of your car is bigger than the rearview mirror. It’s the same with God. He wants you so focused on what’s ahead of you that you don’t even notice what’s going on behind you. God is more interested in your heart right now, than He is your performance back then.
God wants to take you to a higher level, but first you have to quit living in your past. How do we live in the past? In your mind. Isaiah 43:18-19 (Amplified Version), Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it shall spring forth. . . Notice that it says not to remember or consider the things of old. Remembering and considering are both mental processes. They take place in your mind.
If Satan can get you thinking about the things of your past and get you missing those things just a little bit, then he can deceive you into thinking you were just a little bit happier back then and you can think yourself right out of the will of God. And, that is exactly what the devil is hoping for. If he can just gradually get your head to start turning back to the life you left behind, then he’s hoping to get you completely turned around and out of God’s will.
So you have to quit remembering what happened in the past. Many times we ask questions like: How could God ever forgive me? Could He forgive me for this? Well, according to Lamentations 3:22-23, His mercy is new every morning. Every single morning you wake up, mercy is waiting for you. Jeremiah 31:34 says, . . .I will remember their sin no more. It doesn’t say “I will remember your sins and three years from now I will forgive them”. He says I will remember them no more. That’s it. No more.
God wants to pour His love on you. He wants to heal everything in your heart that hurts. He wants you healed from the inside out. So how do you get healed from all the junk of your past?
First, you have to choose to let it go. Empty yourself. Get on your knees and just pour it out. That’s what David did. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told] – then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5 – Amp). God doesn’t just forgive you; He instantly forgives the guilt and iniquity.
The next thing you have to do to bring closure to your past is empty your house. When God told me that, I took it literally. I began to clean my house. I cleaned every room, every drawer, and every cabinet. As I was cleaning my house and getting rid of all the things that emotionally tied me to my past, I was listening to faith building CDs and hearing the Word. Faith was coming and fear was leaving. The entrance of God’s Word brought light to my life.
But I had to get rid of some things that were a reminder of my past. You know, Satan will use anything to drag you back to the past. It may be clothing, a song, a picture, a smell. So if there is something laying around your house that is keeping you tied to your past, get rid of it. It may hurt to let go of the things that your flesh is screaming for, but it’s always going to be for your benefit. It’s so God can take you to a new level. You cannot pursue your future if there’s something still tying you to your past.
Satan is after your dreams. He wants you stuck in the past so that you’ll never move forward. He’s hoping that you will lose your future by looking back. You’re not really living if your mind is back in your past. So let it go, receive God’s forgiveness, and look ahead to your future. If you will, then your life won’t be one of regret. It will be one of purpose.
No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, choose to believe God’s Word is true. It’s behind you now, and everything God has for you is ahead of you. God, on purpose, chooses people ‘with a past’. He chose me. And He chose you.