12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14
Living in the present isn’t something that we can do in our own power. Our deceitful hearts want to drag us to the past and remind us of our own shame or of the deep hurts caused by others. Far too many of us live with the overwhelming sadness of what has been done, and what cannot be undone. If we try to fight the battle of the past in our own power, we will lose every single time. There is sin in the pride that thinks we can do it in our own power, and there is soon and holding onto the past, and many of us are blind to that sin in our own hearts. And because we are blind, we continue to try to move forward with the anchor of the past wrapped around us. Eventually we end up in that pit of despair, throwing our hands up and wondering why we can’t forgive or let go of our shame.
It is only to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ that we can begin to release the past and find a way to live in the present. There is a grace available to you that frees you from living in the past. It’s not a freedom that comes from rewriting our history, it’s not a freedom that comes from apologies or denial. It’s the freedom of a forgiving and transforming Grace. It’s a freedom that allows me to move into the present, and leave all that happened in the past behind me.
All that I look back on that I regret is covered by the cross of Jesus Christ. All that I look back on with sadness and pain, is covered by the cross of Jesus Christ. We are told to press on, we are told to forget what lies behind, so we must let it go. It is only the enemy and the deceitfulness of our own hearts that continually remind us of the past, and give us what we believe is the right to remember it. We have no rights to those memories. We have no rights to that shame. We have no rights to that pain. Because he has told us to let it go, hanging onto it is sin.
So if we are caught in a trap of the past, we need to confess our sin. We need to ask God to free us from the transgression of our disobedience. We need to repent and turn from our sin – that means every time we catch ourselves caught in the trap of remembering or reliving, we need to take our thoughts captive and confess them to the Lord. We need to pray for God‘s protection around our hearts from the enemies attacks, who wouldn’t have us believing we have a right to relive that pain from the past.
The bottom line is if you are trapped in the past, you are trapped in disobedience. Confess your sins to the Lord, and find the grace he offers us in the present.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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