Cracking open old photo albums, watching home movies and reminiscing about good memories are activities many people enjoy. It’s fun to remember the good times! But thinking about the past isn’t always positive or helpful in our spiritual lives.
Rehearsing past hurts and reliving painful memories is harmful. Some people wear their yesterdays like a garment—allowing them to define who they are today. Towing around old shame, guilt and hurt only hinders the blessings of God and gives the devil a place in your life where he doesn’t belong.
Right now, determine to kick guilt and shame to the curb, and bring your thoughts under control according to 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Instead of allowing your mind and Satan to dictate your thoughts, you can tell your mind what to think (Philippians 4:8). James 4:7 says to submit to God and resist the devil, and he (Satan) will flee from you!
It’s time to take back the peace the devil has stolen and embrace your future. Here are three steps you can take to leave the past behind and walk into a place of blessing.
Leave the Past Behind By Receiving Emotional Healing
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4, NKJV)
Spiritual bumps and bruises. Inner aches and pains that just don’t seem to go away. Most all of us know what it’s like to suffer from them, but too few of us know just what to do about them.
We limp along, hoping somehow those hidden wounds will stop hurting, thinking that maybe (with a little extra sleep or an extra helping of dessert) that nagging sense of depression will finally disappear. But inner healing is often a process rather than an event. As you daily spend time with God and in His Word, you will find that He brings healing to those inner hurts and memories of the past.
No matter how complicated or painful, nothing less than complete healing is promised to you in Jesus. The best place to start is with a promise. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Every thought, memory and emotion can come to a place of peace and healing in the Name of Jesus. As Isaiah 53:4 says, He bore our griefs and sorrows on the Cross, so we don’t have to bear them anymore. They are all under the blood, and we are redeemed. Hallelujah!
Leave the Past Behind By Forgiving and Receiving Forgiveness
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:12-13)
There’s nothing like unforgiveness in your heart to keep you chained to the past. Unforgiveness has been linked to depression, illness and disease. It’s toxic! So, get with the Lord and determine, with His help, to forgive every wrong ever committed against you. Then, take a deep breath, and enjoy your newfound freedom!
But, wait…what about receiving forgiveness?
Part of leaving the past behind is learning to release guilt and shame from your life. When you confess your sins, repent and receive forgiveness. You are forgiven—end of story. God doesn’t hold sin against you. He has already forgotten it, so you must forget it, too.
Of course, Satan will try to bring up and replay your mistakes and sins over and over in your mind like a movie. But remember, he is the enemy, and he can be resisted. We can forgive ourselves and forget those things that are behind, and press on toward God (Philippians 3:13-14).
God is Love, and He loves you —regardless of your past. So, receive His forgiveness and acceptance, forgive yourself, and then let go of those things that are behind.
Leave the Past Behind By Focusing Forward
“But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Once you’ve stopped living in the rearview mirror, where should you put your focus? Forward! That’s where the prize is and that’s where true peace and victory are found.
Unbelief looks at the past and says, “See, it can’t be done.” But faith looks at the future and says, “It can be done, and according to the promises of God, it is done!” Faith steps out, knowing that the victory has already been won. If you’ll take God at His Word, you can wake up every morning to a brand-new world. You can live life totally unhindered by the past.
So, do it! Replace thoughts of yesterday’s mistakes with scriptural promises about your future. As you do that, hope will start taking the place of depression. The spiritual aches and pains that have crippled you for so long will quickly disappear.
A life free from the bondage of the past is within your grasp, so begin implementing these three steps and look to a blessed and bright future!
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