By Chris WittsSaturday 16 Mar 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
In the 1994 movie “Forest Gump”,Forest said one day ” My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”. It was a simple statement,but a wise one. Are you stuck in the past .. maybe a past hurt or a big mistake you made,and you wish you’d never done it? Unfortunately many of us live in the past,or dwell in the past,and what we end up doing is replaying the bad stuff in our heads over and over again. These destructive memories can stay with us for a long time,and can ruin a marriage or friendship,and make us lonely people,without a friend in the world.
In one of his very popular books,Rick Warren gives this advice: “You’ve got to stop running from your past if God’s going to use it for good in your life.” How many of us are running from the past? Has something happened in your life that you’re ashamed to talk about,and you think God will never forgive you? Think again,for He has a remarkable way of taking even the most horrible and twisted experience,and turn it into something worthwhile. It may sound difficult to believe,but it happens.
In Hebrews 12: 1 we read “We must get rid of everything that slows us down”. Athletes know this of course,and run with light clothing,because they need to do that. So there is a lesson for us today. Can I dwell in the present time and look forward to what God has in store for me in the future? Can I let go of the guilt,grief and grudges ?
Let go of your PAST ..
“The apostle Paul said ” I refuse to look behind me at my past” Philippians 3:13 . To forget something in the past actually means “to stop being affected by the experience or memory”. Sometimes stuff has happened in our past that we had no control over because we were so young .. and yet it still is there in the memory ..
Paul says if he is going to be all God wants him to be – he is not going to waste any of his time dwelling on the past – but he is going to look forward to the things that lie ahead. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a day away – I need to dwell in the present and look forward to the future. My past is past. I need to let go of the past so I can get on with the present. Success involves learning to forget. A passage from Isaiah in the Message Bible says:
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert,be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,rivers in the badlands.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (MSG)
It is true that – as humans – our memories can linger with us a life-time. But the question is: How do you move on from your past? How do you put the past behind? How do I live beyond the “stuff” that has happened to me? Here is the key:
Don’t let the past control you anymore. Don’t let it have power over you or manipulate you. Successful people learn from the past without dwelling in the past. There is a big difference between letting go and holding on. Successful people learn from the past and once they learn the lessons they need – they let go and move on. They don’t punish themselves about the past.
As humans we tend to remember things we should forget and forget things we should remember. We hold on to the bad memories that we should let go of and we tend to let go of the memories that we should remember. Here are two things from your past that you have to deal with:
A. Your failures
Many Christians go over the bad stuff in their lives – over and over again. If you have sincerely asked God for forgiveness – He has forgiven you. The Bible says in First John:
“If we confess our sins to God,He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away”. 1John 1:9