Recently our Pastor, Wayne Hager at Zion Family Ministries, preached on “The Past” and how our past is in the past, over, done with. But what does our enemy the devil keep bringing up to our remembrance? Yep, our past. We all have a past, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). We’ve all done things we’re not proud of but it’s in the past. If we’ve accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He has covered our past with His blood of forgiveness. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7). So why do we keep listening to the devil and grieving over our past? We can’t be looking back and be successful in going forward. Now, granted, there are things in our past that are good that we should remember. When we got saved, when God brought us through a trial, when we accomplished something good, when someone was kind to us or we were kind to them. These are things we can be encouraged by but God wants us to know, “Yes, those things were good but I’ve got some great new things planned for you.” “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
So as I’m listening to Pastor Wayne, I get this image of what he’s preaching. See if you can #pictureit: We’re standing on a long narrow path with God. It’s out in the country near the sea and on our left, toward the sea, sits all the bad things we have done in our past; the things the devil keeps bring up. God turns to you and says, “Do you want to keep dealing with all that stuff or do you want to move on?” To which you reply, “No Lord, I’m sorry for all that.” Then, nodding His head, He says, “Okay, I’ll take care of it.” Then He goes over and begins tearing down all the mess of our past, loads it up and takes it and dumps it in the sea! He comes back and we ask, “Lord, where’d it all go?” And He replies, “Where’d what go?” “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12). Thank you God!
But that’s not the end of it in this vision. God then goes over to the right and begins bringing out all these building materials and sets them in the path. We ask, “God, what’s all that for?” He says, “These are the building materials for your new life.” “Are you ready to get started?” “If so, get your work gloves on and let’s go.” Now, can you imagine someone, at this time, who would ask God to wait a minute while they go back to the sea and try to bring up something from their past? Certainly not! Don’t do that! The apostle Paul said it this way: “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 3:13-14). We all have that prize waiting up ahead and God has called us to go for it. He’ll go with us all the way and we WILL achieve His goals for us. But we can’t go forward with God if we’re always stopping and looking or going back. Your past? Forget about it!