We all want our life to count for something. We want to feel, not only that we are important, but that we indeed have purpose. But our past wants to interfere with this concept.
The thing is, we all have a past that tells a story. For some, it is a good story. Yet for others it’s a story that may be distasteful according to social, ethical or moral standards. Whether it was something done to us or the consequence of our own choosing, we often walk around dogged by our past. And it is a past we are allowing to define who we are today.
The guilt and shame of wrong choices weigh us down. The painful memories of wounds inflicted on us overwhelms our mind and wants to keep us in bondage.
A PAST TAINTED AND MARRED
Genesis chapter 37 shares with us the story of a tenacious teenage boy. Joseph was only 17 years old when he was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Jealous of their father’s deep love for their youngest sibling, these brothers did the unthinkable. They plotted to kill Joseph. His life, however, was graciously spared from death and instead he was sold as a slave.
These events, I am sure, must have been overwhelming for young Joseph. Hated and rejected by his own siblings, devalued and ripped away from his parents and the comforts of home and false accusation of rape with imprisonment as his sentence. All part of the immense hardship he endured before he rose to great power in Egypt. From this new position of administrative authority, Joseph was not only able to save the land of Egypt, but also the lives of the very brothers who initially caused his demise.
How about Moses? Born the son of a Hebrew slave, Moses did not appear to have much going for him. He was set afloat along the banks of the Nile River, to save his life from Pharaoh’s wicked intent to kill. Rescued by Pharaoh’s own daughter, Moses was raised with the probability he would one day take over the throne. Yet as a grown man, angered by the injustice of his own Hebrew people by the Egyptians, Moses committed murder and had to make a run for his life. It would then take another 40 years before Moses was called by God to return to Egypt and lead his people out of slavery. Imagine this, Moses was now 80 years old!&url=https://journeyingbyfaith.com/2018/01/30/our-past-does-not-define-who-we-are/" data-link="https://twitter.com/share?text=%27We+are+not+what+we+have+done+nor+are+we+what+was+done+to+us.%27&via=">&url=https://journeyingbyfaith.com/2018/01/30/our-past-does-not-define-who-we-are/" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">'We are not what we have done nor are we what was done to us.'Click To Tweet
OUR PAST IS JUST THAT, OUR PAST
Our worth and value does not reside in what was done to us, what we did to others, or what we did or did not accomplish.
The enemy wants us to believe we are not worthy of love, especially, God’s love. His whispered lies are meant to have us continue walking in a defeated state of mind. He wants us to see our self as damaged or tainted goods. His plan is to block us from seeing and living in the redemptive power of Christ.
Satan does not want us to lay down the burdens of pain, unforgiveness and anger at the foot of the cross. He certainly does not want us to live in the reality that our past failures, mistakes and injustices are covered by the blood of Jesus. Bad things do happen and life can be cruel. But despite been stepped on, stamped on, kicked about, our true value does not change. For us to see that truth and live it would be freeing and empowering.
But we have to choose to rise from the ashes. Faith in Christ is expressed through action.
We have to choose to delight in the knowledge of God’s love for us and who he says we are! God does not see us as damaged goods. He sees us and loves us in the true identity of who we are, Children of the King.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
Sisters, we cannot allow past circumstances to define us and hijack our destiny. When the enemy comes to assault our minds with reminders of past failures, we need to remind him of who we are. We have to remind him of our free gift of salvation.
&url=https://journeyingbyfaith.com/2018/01/30/our-past-does-not-define-who-we-are/" data-link="https://twitter.com/share?text=%27Therefore%2C+if+anyone+is+in+Christ%2C+the+new+creation+has+come%3A+The+old+has+gone%2C+the+new+is+here.%27+2+Corinthians+5%3A17&via=">&url=https://journeyingbyfaith.com/2018/01/30/our-past-does-not-define-who-we-are/" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.' 2 Corinthians 5:17Click To Tweet
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Through the acceptance of Christ, His blood on the cross gave us a new life, a fresh start. All we have to do is reach out and receive it. I believe when we are able to see our self through the eyes of grace, only then can we accept this truth. The possibility that our past was not meant for nought.
OUR PAST IS THE KEY?
Is our past the end of our story?
I believe not! I believe God had our destiny in mind when, in His sovereignty, He chose to allow us to walk out the journey of a painful past. Are we able to believe in the possibility that our past was meant to prepare us for such a time as this? In the life of both Joseph and Moses, and many others, adversity and pain were the tools used to prepare them for purpose.
Will our story reveal, that instead of weakness, our past was meant to give us strength. Instead of hopelessness, it was meant to build our faith. Could it be that instead of helplessness, it was meant to teach us reliance and trust in God. Instead of fear it was meant to build courage to forge ahead.
Will our story reveal, that instead of seeing our self separated, isolated and abandoned due to past mistakes and bad choices, we were meant to see Christ; loved, accepted, forgiven and transformed.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Come now dear friends, let us journey together by faith. God bless you!
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