A New Season #1 – Your Past
As we enter into a new season – the start up of school, the coming of fall, the beginning of a new chapter in life – we can all benefit by dealing with our past.
The past shapes our experience in the present. But unless we make conscious choices to deal with our past, we will likely remain captive to it.
We can ignore our past. We can deny the wounds and regrets of our past. We can anesthetize ourselves with substances or with busyness. We can compartmentalize our lives so we don’t have to think about all the hurts and pains of our past.
But ignoring our past doesn’t work. Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). As we give God access to our souls, he brings the dark things of our past into his light so he can heal us.
We can regret our past. We can wallow in the sadness of opportunities lost or mistakes made. We can keep the past alive by punishing ourselves with guilty feelings or grudges, with remorse or resentment. We can allow the past to overpower the present.
But regretting our past doesn’t work either. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3:13) doesn’t mean that we forget entirely about our past. It means we don’t dwell there anymore. We get beyond our regrets.
God uses our past to instruct and train us. God uses our past for exposing our need and our weakness, so we can find his solution and depend upon his strength.
We can let God redeem our past. Through repentance and faith in Christ, God redeems our past so that our “sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19). Peter told this to the people in Jerusalem who had clamored for Jesus’ crucifixion. They could be forgiven for the sin of putting Jesus Christ to death.
Ancient writing was upon papyrus, and the ink used had no acid in it. It therefore didn’t bite into the papyrus as modern ink does. It simply lay upon the top. To erase the writing a person would take a wet sponge and simply wipe it away. In the same way, when God forgives our sins, he wipes the slate clean and gives us a new beginning.
Don’t let your past destroy your future. Let God heal, reframe, and redeem it.
~ Pastor Dave