#69 "The Past is Passed"
October 24, 2006
"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 desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43: 18-19)
Have you ever heard a song that took you back to another time in your life? You could almost taste and smell what it was like on that day. We remember people and places, sights and sounds. We kind of have an obsession with the past. We listen to old music, watch "I love the 70's, 80's"..whatever your decade was. We talk about how things used to be. We long for a gentler, more peaceful time.
Going back to your past can also be a very bad trip to take. Walking those roads may bring back the feelings you had when you were abused. You may relive those hurtful words that someone said to you. It's amazing how those feelings of hurt and anger can be felt just as strongly today as they were when it happened.
Good or bad, the past is just that...passed. And your past is not your future. God tells us that He is doing a new thing...He has a plan for your future but you will never get there if you are still living in the past.
We can't change what has happened to us in life. We can't change our childhood, our parents' divorce, the abuse we may have suffered. We can't make that man stay when he went after another woman. We can't bring back that loved one who died. We can't take back the hurtful words that were said that caused a relationship to be fractured. We have no control over where we may have been and what may have happened to us. But we do have control over where we are going. We have a say in the direction of our future. Your past is not your future. Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe says, "Do not say, ?Why were the former days better than these?? You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past." Don't let your past define who you are. You are not your past. You are Gods' son or daughter. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the apple of His eye. He has a grand and glorious plan for your life according to Jeremiah 29:11. People may tell you it's too late for you. Too much has happened. It's a lie. People may tell you that things will never change...that's just how things are. That's also a lie. Those people may not be the devil, but the devil will use people just like that to cause you to stay stuck and lose hope for anything better that is up ahead.
If you have good memories, leave them as that, memories. Don't try to relive the good ole days. Looking at your past to relive the pain, hurt and heartache that is there will never get you forward. Try this...stand up and try to walk forward with your head facing backward. You can't do it, can you? In just a minute you will stumble and hit something and probably even hurt yourself. If you are continually looking behind, you cannot see where you are going. Harry S. Truman said, "Men who live in the past remind me of a toy I?m sure all of you have seen. The toy is a small wooden bird called the ?Floogie Bird.? Around the Floogie Bird?s neck is a label reading, ?I fly backwards, I don?t care where I?m going. I just want to see where I?ve been." Forget those former things. Learn what you can from them and move on. God says, "do not dwell on the past."
Just as you are not defined by what was done to you, you are also not defined by what you've done. If you have given your life to Christ and repented from those past sins (repent means to turn away from), then you are forgiven. The sin is gone. In the sea of forgetfulness, as far as the east is from the west. Gone, finished...over. You are not your past sins. You are forgiven, a new creature in Christ. So any way you look at it, the past is passed!
No matter what you've done and no matter what was done to you....leave it...walk away from it...I say, RUN away from it. It's only going to hold you back. Keep your eyes on Jesus, follow Him into your future. A future bright with promise. A future with Christ who will lead you for the rest of your life on a journey like you've never known before. But you have to look at Him, not behind you. Look into His Word. Find out what He promises to those who follow Him. Make that your life's goal. His plan for you. Not the devils' plan to kill, steal and destroy you by pushing you deeper and deeper into your past so that you can never enjoy God's glorious future. He is making ways in the deserts and streams in the wastelands of your past.
One man said to his friend: ?Say, you look depressed. What are you thinking about?? ?My future,? was the quick answer. ?What makes it look so hopeless?? The answer was, ?My past.? Where are you living today? Where do you want to live today? It's your choice!
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