“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
In part one of this series, we talked bout how the Enemy uses our own past experiences against us, to remind us of our transgressions, and to re-awaken feelings of shame, guilt, and insecurity revolving around our worth to our Creator. And, truth be told, he can do a pretty good job of kicking us while we’re down and impeding our good work for the Kingdom of Heaven… IF we let him. After reminding you of how flawed you are, or have been, he may make you second guess how your message of the risen Christ will be received by people who knew you before you changed your ways. “Will they think I’m a hypocrite?” “Will they think I think I’m better than they are?” “Is my message really worth sharing?” This is exactly the devil’s plan for us. To weaken us and keep us from speaking with boldness and truth about the love that God has for His people.
This is precisely why God warns us to keep our focus on Him, and on moving FORWARD, instead of focusing on any remnant of our past. In Luke chapter 9, verse 62 we read, “Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” How do we plow forward when we’re looking behind us? We don’t. We waver, we wobble, we turn to languish in our own shortcomings.
We see in Philippians chapter 3, verses 12 and 13, Paul’s own encouraging words about how we move forward after having a past: “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. 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,”.
We are NOT in bondage to our past sins anymore. In Christ we are made new. So, what does that mean in this unforgiving world in which we’re surrounded by things that remind us of our sin? In the words of Debby Kay, “This is where we must make a choice…we can choose to accept the things that we can’t change and then choose to let God’s grace cover the situation and let Him work it together for good in our lives…or we choose to hold on to the pain…choose to listen to our own voice instead of the Lord’s… choose to not accept the freedom and gifts that Christ offers to set us free.”
I encourage your to choose to let go of the pains in your past, to accept God’s grace over your life, and to bask in the freedom that we are given to live a new life in Christ. Others will notice, and that will bring glory to God. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus reminds us that when a lamp is lit, we do not hide it under a basket. We put that lamp on a table to light up the room and all who enter. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) Let your light shine this week!
by Jennifer Friedline