Go read Philippians 3:12-14.
A Past that Haunts
Yesterday we talked specifically about dealing with sins from our past committed by us. Today I want to open up the conversation to other things from our past that have a tendency to haunt us. These things may include honest mistakes, shameful heritage, sins committed against us by other people, heart-wrenching tragedies or just the wasted years of ignorance to Jesus’ call for our lives.
<> What different kinds of things from your past have the tendency to haunt you?
To work through these things we need to understand the Greek word Paul uses that is translated “forgetting”. The word is epilanthanomai and means to neglect, or no longer care for. The problem is that a lot of us think that we are victimized weaklings compared to our big hairy monster pasts. Too much of the time we believe that we are hopeless to ever escape the lasting scars and effects of our past. While there is a truth to the fact that certain portions of our past will affect who we are forever, we must understand that Jesus is bigger than ANY aspect of our past.
<> Have you given up hope to be freed from bondage to the effects of your past?
<> How are you taking your past to Jesus and asking Him to help you heal?
An Active Fight
Go read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
<> In what ways is your battle with your past a spiritual battle?
<> According to vs. 5 what is the goal of these arguments and pretensions?
It is vital to realize that we have spiritual enemies who will use any ounce of a foothold from our past to wage war against our soul. Their goal is always the same: to separate us from the real knowledge of God. The fight is an active and simple response to these attacks. We run to God. We take captive our thoughts and we run to Jesus. When you are struggling with your past it can help to visualize yourself walking up to the cross with your past in your hands and laying it down at the foot of the cross.
There are two huge parts of this fight that are important to understand:
1.) You are not a helpless victim. You are a saved and rescued daughter or son of God who has been reconciled through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God. He sent His Holy Spirit. According to 1 John 2:27, the Spirit will always remind you to remain in Christ. So do that. Take your thoughts to Jesus. Ask Him what He thinks about them. FIGHT. Don’t give up.
2.) You are not the one who needs to win the fight. The outcome of the fight does not depend on you. He has already won the fight. In Col. 3:15, it says that Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities. He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through the cross.” Understanding that the battle is won has a certain manner of stripping the illusion of power from our enemies.
<> How have you given up the fight against your past?
<> Have you given into a selfish attitude of victimization?
<> In what ways do you think that you are ultimately responsible for the outcome of the fight against your past?