“God says don’t worry about your future. He is the author of your story and He’s written the final chapter.” – Max Lucado
There are a lot of spiritual prisons that a Christian can find themselves in. Prisons that hold them back from all that God has in store for them. Prisons that close their eyes from the grace that God offers them. Prisons that shackle them and hold them back from growing in relationship with God.
Prisons like: addiction, lust, jealousy, anger, and greed.
These are only a few. The enemy of our souls uses these prisons to trip us up over and over and over.
One of the enemy’s favorite prisons is the prison of our past. Remembering our past can hold us back from obtaining our God-given potential. It reminds us that we’re no good. It points out our faults. It brings up all of the ways we’ve messed up. It emphasizes our failures.
It happens when you least expect it. Sometimes, late at night, when you’re finally drifting off to sleep. Your mind begins to wander until it falls on that day, five years ago, when you really screwed-up. Your stomach begins to tighten. You think thoughts like, “You idiot. Why did you do that? You’re such a loser. You’re a good-for-nothing.”
Sometimes it happens after a big victory or after a big spiritual breakthrough. You feel great. You feel closer to God then you’ve ever been. But, wait. Do you feel that tap on your shoulder? Do you hear that whisper in your ear? It’s your Past. He’s saying, “You may feel closer to God, but just remember, this isn’t who you are. Remember that person last year. The failure. The disappointment. The deadbeat. That’s who you are. You’re a failure.”
It happens to all of us. We all have regrets. We’ve all been haunted by our past at one point or another. But be encouraged. This is what God says:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
God is in the business of making old things new. You have been forgiven. God has forgotten your sins. You are a new creation. So, forget the past and embrace the future that God has in store. Don’t let your past failures hold you back from the victories that God is placing before you.
Tread on. And don’t look back.
Parents: Explain to your kids that everyone messes up. When we ask God for forgiveness He is faithful in removing our sins from us and forgetting them. We should too.