The way out of your past is not by dissected it. The way out of your past is to chart a new course towards your future and go on the journey.
Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Phil. 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Many people have a past, most of which they are not proud of when they come to Christ. The Lord took care of this when He died on the Cross for you and me. He crucified the old man because there was no way to redeem us any other way. Covenants are real, and you might have made many before you came to Christ. Sins did abound and knowing how to walk righteously was nowhere in sight. Now there is some truth we need to set straight.
1. You are a new Creation in Christ. Assuming that you have truly repented and you have received Jesus as Lord.
a. 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
b. John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
c. Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
2. Even what you thought were good works need to be repented of before God. Good works won’t save you either. In the Apostle Paul’s list found in the third chapter of Philippians, we see that Paul lists right things. He then gave an account that none of them were worthy of keeping. These things are also found in Scripture and are called dead works. Dead works are all those things not done in the faith of Jesus Christ and those things of which you think they bring favor.
a. Herb 6:1 says we need repentance from dead works, not just evil works.
b. Anything that I bring alongside Christ as to mitigate the judgement is worthless.
c. I must present myself to Him and repent of everything.
Now, like Paul, you have found the only hope for mankind: Jesus Christ the hope of Glory. It was a glorious day when you met the Lord and Savior of the Universe. He excepted you with open arms and embraced you in all of your imperfectness. Now as you try to walk this new life in Christ to maturity, the enemy has different plans.
The problem is simple, how do you unlock your future and get out of the past? Many will teach that they need to go into the past and find every sin in their lives and repent of it. The problem is that the level of shame that can follow open doors to despair and sin. When you came to Christ, He forgave you of every sin. Yes, everything. As long as your repentance was real and your faith in Him sincere, it is all. Faith is the simplicity of Christ that many want to take away. They have a special revelation about getting free that no one else has, not even mentioned in Scripture. Christ makes free, and truth makes free. Why we get away from this, I don't know. There has always been that desire of man to create his salvation.
For some reason, confusing at times to me, man continues with the attempt to find a solution that is not needed. Jesus is the answer to everything that cause a man to suffer. However, when men fail and stumble, there seems to be an awakening to the memories of past failures and past experiences. Many times this leads men and women to transverse their past looking for something hidden that causes the failure. All the promises of Christ, however, deal with our future. It appears to me that the Father wants us to focus on our future not our past. There is no energy found in our old man. No power to apprehend and no life in it. Every breath we take and move we make is to be in Him.
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
For those who find themselves stuck in the cycle of their past, I would like to offer these simple tips for navigating through life.
1. Write a mission statement for your life. It should cover the way you want to treat others. Include in what you want to accomplish and how you want your life to count. Having lofty goals is okay. Shoot for the stars. Low hopes and dreams won't inspire you to go through any process. Those who are just trying to survive hardly do more than that. It is when a thought moves them that they find themselves climbing out of the pit of despair.
2. Read it every day. Check to make sure that the activities of your life are consistent with the goals stated. If not, make necessary course corrections. Live towards your dreams, not away from your past. You want to keep your eyes forward at all times.
3. Pray like it depends on grace. Stop thinking that you can make it without it. Don't believe the lie that the Father will not help you. He has good plans for you.
4. Stay accountable to someone. Not for them to call out your sin, but to hold you to the course of your dreams. Accountability in religion assumes that everyone is going to sin. In the Kingdom, we live out of Christ. We are new creations in Christ. This truth must be apprehended by faith like all other promises. For this reason, we need to stay the course of the Spirit.
5. Get to work. It won't come by sitting and doing nothing. Study the Scriptures, Worship the Father and Pray. Seems simple, but how many times do I see people get off track on this very simple pattern.
6. Review these things daily, weekly and monthly. Make sure that you keep yourself on track. There will be times of discouragement. It is in these times you will have to remember the goals and the cause for which you have set out to achieve.
These instructions might seem simple, but it is supposed to be. Christ did not die to make your life more difficult, but to simplify it. It would be wise to review your goals and plans for next year now. To take the time to chart the course. Living by the Spirit does not mean flying by the seat of your pants. It means allowing Him to direct your paths as your pursue your goals. Stop being religious about them. Always thinking that it has to involve spiritual things. If you are in business, you need to make a goal that pertains to business. Don't try to make them sound holy. Just go for it. You will find it easier to navigate this life when you are in pursuit of something, not running away from your past.
Blessings to you all,