Sorry, I am not asking your address. But I have a question. Where do you live? I see so many people living in fear, rejection, un-forgiveness, bitterness and sin because they don’t know where they live. Where do you live? I have seen so many believers not attending church, reason being they were hurt by another believer or by the Pastor’s conduct in the past and they don’t want it to be repeated. Young men and women fear committing themselves as they have faced betrayal before, un-forgiveness and bitterness in many hearts as they choose not to forgive others of their past mistakes and choose to remain in their past themselves. Many believers live in defeat, not living a life of fullness as they are continuously haunted by the past. Fear of the recurrence of events, fear stopping many to step out of the darkness of the past, holding on to the troubled memories, blaming self or others for previous disasters, not trusting others because of betrayals in past relations or lack of confidence. The list is endless but my question is still the same: Where do you live?
I boldly declare that I don’t have any past. My past holds nothing for me as I have exchanged all my past sins, pain, shame, problems and guilt with Jesus when I came to the cross. So what happened from the day of my being born again till this day? I do it every day. And this is what I do: I choose not to remain in the past as I wait a glorious eternal life in Christ. Paul said, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14). I wish that we all learn this scripture by heart. God is not interested in our past if we surrender it to the Lord. He wants us to come out of our past and live the present in fullness. If you hold on to the past you will never see the future that God has planned for you. God always convicts a man while Satan always condemns. If you hear voice of condemnation it is not from God but from the Enemy. Do not hold on to your past because God is doing a new thing in you today and he wants you to be a part of it. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Peter loved Jesus. He followed him for three years. He healed the sick and delivered the possessed, he walked on water, he saw Jesus doing great miracles, he saw Jesus revealing his divine nature and he confessed that Jesus is Christ. He loved Jesus and said he will never leave him. But the same Peter failed miserably as he denied Jesus three times. Peter failed, he denied his Master. It was over for him. But when Jesus rose from the dead he personally asked this message to be delivered to Peter as he wanted to show him that he still cared. The devil condemns God’s people of the mistakes of the past whereas God convicts and want us to come back to Him in repentance seeking His forgiveness to be free again, to enjoy the great things He has in store for us. Peter repented of his mistake and served Jesus giving his life for the Master. Jesus asked this same Peter again three times, “Do you love me?” and Peter responded with a faithful and fruitful life, serving the Master. Peter made many mistakes, perhaps more than all other disciples, but the same Peter finished his race gloriously because he left that which was behind him and reached forth for that which was before him. He moved forward, pressed on hard towards the goal which was set before him.
God waits for his children to be free from the guilt and shame of their past. Are you bitter inside? Are you insecure? Are you in fear? Are you in guilt? Are you living in un-forgiveness? Ask Jesus to heal you and to allow you to live freely in the peace and joy of Holy Spirit. He will help you to simply let it go. Don’t punish your present for the mistakes of your past. God is compassionate and merciful. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). Jesus is willing to heal us and clean us but not until we are willing to come to Him.
I encourage you to let God free you from the chains of the past which stop you from living in the present and moving towards your God’s prepared future. Where do you live? Is your past your present address? Come out of it and live where God wants you to live.
Past imperfect - Present perfect.
- By Ricky Dhingra