I really do. I have this tendency to carry dirty rags with me wherever I go.
Let me walk you thru it.
Do you have tendency to rewind your life in your head and “go back” to trying to fix what happened in your past or to somehow at least make it better? Do you spend time trying to figure out what happened that brought the result you didn’t like?
Going back can be good. When something that happened in our past is still affecting our present and needs clarity or healing, it’s very healing to go back and allow God to do what needs to be done there.
Recalling good memories is a lot of fun and brings joy and a sense of contentment. However, yearning for my past to be my present is a dead-end. If we are constantly trying to recreate our past, we will miss the moments that are right in front of us today!
Constantly bringing up old baggage or painful seasons of my past also robs me from my present. Wishing things would have turned out differently or that I’d have done things differently, wishing that I would have been more or less [fill in the blank] than I was then-these are all dead-ends.
Yes, God sometimes takes us back to those places to bring healing or clarity, but that’s not always the reason that we choose to go back. In fact, sometimes when God is trying to take us back for healing that we need, those are the times that we are most reluctant to go back!!!
I may be very willing to go back and beat myself up over what happened, but when I do that, I am serving the purpose of the enemy of my soul and not the purpose of my loving Creator God.
He intimately knows our hearts even if we choose not to intimately know Him. He knows how much we wish we would have done better, loved more, taken the high road. He knows the pain in our hearts from the abuse, from the rejection, from the misunderstanding.
And He cares.
Still His purpose isn’t for us to beat ourselves up over it.
His purpose is for restoration, for wholeness, for unity in our body, soul and spirit. He longs for us to be whole, to live out of the identity Jesus died for us for!
God made Jesus to be sin so that we could become the “righteousness of God!” (2 Corinthians 5:21) That’s a big deal! Jesus died for us so that we can become the righteousness of God!
Jesus died so we could become God’s children and co-heirs of the Kingdom with Him! (Romans 8:17)
Not so that we can beat ourselves up when we blow it.
Not so that we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do better next time.
He died so that we can become the righteousness of God and royal children of the King!
So simple yet so magnificent!
In the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, how do you think the father would have felt and responded if his son would have insisted on staying in the rags he wore to work in the pigpen? What if he’d have insisted that he couldn’t possibly accept everything that his father wanted to restore to him because of how badly he had botched things up with the choices that he had made in the past? What if he would have refused to accept his father’s complete, unconditional, unlimited forgiveness?
How silly, we say.
At least until God wants to clothe us in His royal garments. Until He invites us to live with Him in His palace and leave behind our beggar mentality.
Then we become quick to point out to Him our baggage that we are choosing to drag along, our massive failures and horrific choices. Our pain and hurt and disappointment that we act as though He’s not big enough to take care of.
Do I trust God enough to forget my past? Is God big enough to teach me the things I need to know without me remembering my past and dragging it along?
He IS big enough! He’s good enough to do that for us. I can stay dressed in the royal garments He has dressed me in, stay in the palace, have a relationship with the King, and totally forget that I used to be a beggar.
God is big enough to keep me in my new identity!
I don’t need to carry along my wad of rags. Jesus took care of my rags when He died in my place.
When I received His sacrifice in my place, He put His royal robes on me, and I DON’T NEED MY RAGS ANYMORE! If I insist on carrying them along, they take away from my new identity!
It’s time to throw the stinking rags away!