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Stranded in the Past

I don’t know if I am the only one who dregs up past deeds. I think I should change that statement to “I allow the devil to slip in and try to remind me of something I did eons ago.” I am a whole lot smarter now than I was last year! It’s all that preaching and praising the Lord that has me talking back and telling any kind of spirit to get out of my house. Maybe we should view “War Room” again!

Have you ever noticed that there are a lot of folks-in the church- still dealing with what was? We tend to give “the past” a great deal of power in our lives. And for some, it has become a stronghold that needs to be torn down. If God has set you free, then why do you want to wallow in what was? The Israelites were in bondage and then they were free! When the first problem came up they were crying out for those good “leeks and onions”. Memories can be wonderful and for the older generation, they might be all they have left. But, there are those who live in the “past” and it has become a way of life.

Why the past? There’s no surprises in the memories; you know the outcome; it seems safer and easier to deal with. If you stand yourself in the past-the what was, the what if, the could have been, you don’t have to face the future! You don’t have to deal with anything “new” and the past becomes a place to hide!

The past protects us from the present and the future. We dwell on the past and we reconfigure what went wrong. We live in the past in different ways. Your teen goes off to college and you turn their “room” into a memory room-stuffed animals, trophies, same bed cover. Years down the road you might decide it would make a good “craft room” or a place to pray. It’s hard to let that kid grow up and the little room is a place of relief.

There are many people who have guilt if they try to move forward. They make television movies about guilt. The spouse dies and you keep everything the same! You can’t think of falling in love again; you feel obligated to stay in the same place the rest of your life.

You see being stuck in the past is not a harmless state of mind. If you stay there long enough, it can become like a false god to you. It isolates you, turns you inward, and leaves you unsatisfied and fearing. Being stranded in the past or wanting to go back to the “good old days” will steal your hope for the future. God has a plan for all of us but He is not the one who derails it!

I was once a member of that past. I never felt qualified to teach Sunday School; I never thought I could pray like others; I didn’t think I had anything to offer others. Praise the Lord I finally saw the Light! Then Jesus said, “what past? I don’t remember what I have cast away. I see a bright future for you and there will be a day when we sit down and dine together!” Friends, take Him for His Word-He has released you from that past! You need to mourn no more, feel guilt or punish yourself anymore!

Remember Philippians 3:13-14, Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Sharon White

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