How to prevent your past from controlling your future + weekly news
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
The Walls of Your Past
As you begin a new year, you may be ready for something new, but fearful of what is yet to come. The past few years have brought unprecedented changes, upheavals, outbreaks, and manifestations of evil. We all have been affected in ways that have changed nearly every aspect of our lives. Today’s message is all about keeping your past where it belongs—in the past.
According to the World
The world tries to convince you that your past is the most dominating influence in your life. A dysfunctional, abusive, or loveless upbringing will set the direction for the rest of your life. Unfair treatment of your culture in the past will determine the condition of your life today. Your difficult past has resulted in your struggling present. Our world is preoccupied with the past because it faces an uncertain future. With no hope for the future, the past becomes the world’s default setting.
According to Christ
Christians, on the other hand, should be living in freedom because Christ has overcome our past and the world (John 16:33). We have already been delivered from everything in our past that we would like to forget (Isaiah 53:4-5). In fact, Christ has delivered us from the entire domain of darkness and has transferred us to the “Kingdom of Christ” (Col. 1:13). The old things have passed away, and new things have come (2 Cor. 5:17). While this verse is about our new identity, it should also apply to our outlook on life, especially what we will do with our past as we enter a new year.
A Proper Focus
While forgetting a difficult past is impossible, we can choose not to be controlled by it. While those in the world focus on what they are overcoming, Christians should focus on who they are becoming. God is using every difficult and painful experience to mold us into the image of Christ. If we cooperate with Him as He removes everything in us that doesn’t look like Christ, Christ will have more opportunities to live His life of victory through us. Christians have a glorious future, but the road to glory will pass through tribulation and persecution. The past few years have set the stage for the tribulations of the last of the last days which, I believe, are upon us. If we are to remain strong and courageous as our faith is tested, we can’t afford to be weighed down by our past.
Safe in Our Fortress
Some have responded to their painful past by building an imaginary but mighty wall around themselves. They live their entire lives within their fortress, safe from everyone and everything that has caused them pain in the past. I think we all have done this to some degree, but some have built a massive and impregnable wall that is obvious to everyone except the one residing inside. The problem is that their fortress is doing more harm than good for one simple reason:
Christ didn’t come to keep us safe from
everything that has hurt us.
He came to deliver us from everything
that is keeping us from Him.
He is our protector, not our walls. In the coming days, we will be forced to depend on Christ, but He must have unhindered access to every part of our lives. We must be determined not to let anything interfere with what Jesus desires to do in and through us. If this describes you, it’s time to break down the walls of your past.
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Remember how Obama campaigned on hope and change? My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those who are given to change (Proverbs 24:21).
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