Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do not dwell on the past!

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

I would like to talk with you today about getting past your past. Too often we get stuck in the past and allow it to control so much of our lives. It doesn't have to be like that. Listen to what God says in Isaiah 43:18-19:

Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Isaiah 43:18-19

When God determines your future He doesn't consult your past.

Mary Magdalene was a known prostitute. But after Christ redeemed her she became one of the last people to leave the cross (Matthew 27:55-61) and one of the first to discover and announce His resurrection (Matthew 28:7). Because she embraced Christ and the future He offers all of us, she's been mentioned with honor by every ensuing generation. Peter was a fisherman with a hair-trigger temper and some anti-social tendencies. Yet God filled him with so much Spiritual power that when he preached, multitudes came to Christ (Acts 2:40-41). Jacob lived up to his name 'deceiver'. But God gave him an extreme makeover and changed his name to Israel which means "A Prince with God" (Genesis 32:24-30). Ruth was a Moabitess who grew up worshipping idols - not a promising start. But after turning to serve the true God she became part of the ancestry of King David and our Lord Jesus (Matthew 1:5). Zacchaeus, a well known embezzler, hosted Jesus overnight in his home and ended up becoming a philanthropist. And how about Paul? Killing Christians didn't put him off limits to God. As an apostle he wrote over half of the New Testament by divine revelation, was taken into Heaven where he saw incredible things (2 Corinthians 12:1-4), and when aprons and handkerchiefs taken from his body were placed on the sick they were healed (Acts 19:11-12).

Now, if God could do all that for 'people with a past', He can give you a new beginning too!

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln lost several elections before finally becoming one of America's greatest presidents? In fact, he failed so often it was amazing he kept trying. Did you know that the material used to make Kleenex tissues was invented as a gas mask filter during World War I, and it failed? Then when inventors tried to make it into cold cream it flopped again. Finally they repackaged it as disposable handkerchiefs and, guess what, people buy 200 billion of them annually. Not bad for a product that bombed twice!

You can't seize your future while you're obsessing over your past. So learn from it and let it go. Heed the advice of author Susan Scott: "My dog and cat have taught me a great lesson in life - learn to shed a lot!" Nobody starts out being good at everything. Tackling new ventures usually means learning by trial and error. When Charles Darrow got married he promised his wife they'd become millionaires. But the Great Depression came and they ended up hitting rock bottom. Darrow was ready to give up his dream but his wife encouraged him to keep going. Then one day he devised the idea of using 'play money' to buy 'pretend properties', and he turned his vision into a board game with little houses and hotels. It's called Monopoly, and Parker Brothers bought it from Darrow for - you've guessed it - a million dollars!

Remember, when you're on the right track and you refuse to give up, God can do something great through you. So keep going and don't look back.

When Eve awoke on planet earth she was already a wife! Imagine waking up beside a man when you've never seen one before. It was the ultimate sink-or-swim situation. She was created without a childhood. She never got to grow up. She stepped right into being a wife, then a mother. Did that happen to you?

A lot of us find ourselves having to be parents before we've had a chance to be children, or to know what it means to be innocent, to trust, to receive genuine love. If that's your story, God has a word for you, "Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing."

Refuse to blame your past for your present, or let it ruin your future. You can't go back and make things different. You're not the person now you were then, and you're never going to be. You can't re-live your first marriage, or your early childhood. Accept it, dismiss what used to be, and move on!

Often we hold on to our past because there's something there we think we still need. We cling to things because we fear we'll never be able to replace them!

Don't you know that God has more for you? If you're trusting Him for your future, then you haven't seen your best days yet. There's more ahead of you than behind you. So get up, get over it and move on in Jesus Name! Blessings.

Pastor Rusty


Anonymous said...

great word this morning. really able to apply it because most of us have something in our past that haunts on us, or something that the enemy is making bigger than it really is...either way, good work.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I will remember not the former things, with God's grace. My past is riddled with failure, but God has made a way on the wilderness for me. Thankfully, his salvation is very real, and cannot be taken away. And he has promised to lead us on with himself

"Acquaint thyself with Him and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee"