Past SinsQUESTION: Past Sins – How can I deal with them?ANSWER:Past Sins – Insights from God’s Word
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14Past Sins – Accept Forgiveness
Prayer: Lord, this morning I am sensing a heads-up warning from You, reminding me that looking forward is the goal to be attained, and dwelling in past glories, a subtle trap. You are whispering in my ear about the discontentment that permeates Your body because of their feet being stuck in the quicksand of past accomplishments.
Your eyes shine out at me with an intensity of light that illuminates my inner man with a laser-like beam showing me dangerous detours ahead -- should we allow our passion for You to subside and discontentment to take over. I am so relieved for this heads-up warning, as all too often I have been bitten by this counterfeit myself before I recognized I was stung. How I love You, my King, knowing that You care so much for the walking wounded of this world.
How easy it would be to relax my guard and bask in the place of accomplishment. How easy it would be to spend years simply reflecting on all that has come before, instead of focusing on what lies ahead. I am very grateful this morning that I can look back on the past with gratitude for all that You accomplished -- it often inspires me to keep going, to persevere and not give up. Yet, I know that if I dwell there too long, I will end up restless and discontented, and even worse I may not hear Your call to move ahead.
I have wandered down so many detours on my path of life. I have gotten stuck in the mud of hopelessness and despair, and I have had to rely on You and Your wisdom and power, grace and mercy to recover. I don’t want to go there anymore. Enough is enough!
I pray this day that any of my brothers and sisters who are being held captive and are struggling with discontentment would be set free. If they are being held in a skewed image of what used to be, I ask You to reveal what is about to be. I ask You to get them moving again in Your power if they are stuck somewhere along the path. Free them from the feelings they have that cause them to retreat instead of marching forward.
Thank You that when You shine Your bright light on us, You often reveal the things in our lives that are no longer bearing fruit. You strip away our old comfort zones, and You reveal a bright new path on which to walk. You use our former weaknesses to show us our real strengths -- and You permanently bury our fears and anxieties in the graveyard of the useless. Thank You, my King!
Help all who pray this prayer to remember that no matter what our past experiences -- no matter how often we fall in the ditch, You can pull us out and set our feet on the renewed path of Your choosing, where contentment, peace, and joy reign supreme. Free my brothers and sisters from pity parties which tend to keep them stuck for long seasons if not nipped in the bud. Help us all to see that whatever the difficulties of our past, You have brand new golden opportunities waiting for us to claim, and Your strength and power will be sufficient for all our needs.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You are moving in Your people. Thank You that Your presence is being felt all around the world -- and it is even being felt in the deepest corners of our own hearts of despair. Every day You give us new food to eat and You satisfy our thirst. Every day You bring new wisdom and knowledge to us if we are seeking You out, and every day You give us the strength we need to endure. Sometimes, I admit it is only enough for our present moments, but the hope we have is in the future of all the days ahead filled with that provision.
Help all who pray this prayer to repent and ask for Your forgiveness, and give them the endurance they need to keep moving -- yet again -- one more day. You are our Bread of Life, and every day our new wineskins are refreshed by Your new provisions. Thank You, my King, for the path that has led me to this day, and thank You for all the difficulties I have come through. Your grace is sufficient for all my needs, and Your power is revealed in my weaknesses. I praise You, my King.Past Sins – Making it Personal
Reflect: Have you lost sight of the promises of Christ for your life? Do you really believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you? If you do, you should be looking forward -- not backwards. You don’t want to become a bystander, watching the army of God moving ahead while you stay buried in the past with discontentment as your standard. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any hidden spot in your heart that is keeping you stuck in the past. Write them down and pray on them every day. Soon you will be free and back on the path that God has for you.