Thursday, June 30, 2011

Set Free From The Guilt Of Your Past

I am back with my restored internet. Yeah! Only to discover that my faithful posting of my daily blogs by email failed to work. Boo! I am sorry about that. I have no idea what happened but I did try.

Today I want to pick up again with Paul's letter to Timothy, particularly with something that should assure us of the freedom we enjoy in Jesus Christ. One of the worse thing to suffer is shame, regret and even fear of things we have done in the past. We all know that we seem to live several life-times over our many years as different events change us, molding us into the person we are today. Who we were 40 years ago, 20 years ago, even 10 years ago is not who we are today. Who we will be in 10 or 20 years from now will not be the person we are today; not if we are growing and maturing as we are suppose to. If this is true for us normally, how much more is it spiritually?

To truly accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is to truly let go of what we were. That is hard for a lot of people. Some see Jesus as nothing more than an insurance policy they take out in case something bad happens. He is like that savings account they tuck away in the event of a rainy day. But to accept Jesus is to accept a complete make-over, a complete transformation of our heart and mind (the body transformation takes place in the future); changing our perspective, thinking, attitude, emotions. It is also a confession of what we were, terrible rebellious sinners, separated from God; and an acceptance of what we have become through Jesus, a new creation, the righteous children of God. In the words of the Holy Spirit through Paul:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We can accept a lot of things but sometimes this is the hardest because the enemy wants to keep us enslaved to our past, to the things we are guilty of. He does not want us to walk in the freedom that our Father's grace and mercy has given to us as a gift. Just like the Prodigal Son, we want to earn our way out of guilt and shame. But, just like the father of that son, our Father wipes out the past, forgets it and brings us into his home with a great celebration. This is the new reality we have to accept. With this we must let go of guilt and shame for our past, not allowing them to have control over us any more. We do this by understanding the new reality Jesus brought us into:

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

Living this reality will free you up from all bondage to your past. You have been set free because the law no longer applies to you. This is what Paul explained to Timothy:

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:8-11)

My father used to tell me that locks were for honest people because the dishonest would always find a way in. The law is for those who rebel against society's norms, who act outside of what is considered acceptable behaviour. The righteous have no need of the law. Looking at it in the flesh, if we were to apply the two greatest spiritual laws, to love God and to love others, we would discover that we would not need to fear any law in our society. How much more then the Spiritually laws that were given to define man's rebellion against God? The Word tells us:

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (Galatians 5:18)

Having accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, having accepted his forgiveness, and now led by the Holy Spirit, we have no fear of the law because we have been transported into this incredible place of God's grace. He has declared what was not righteous to be righteous. He has brought us into a right relationship with him. We have been set free from our past. It does not matter what we were before, it is not who we are now. The enemy, the world, maybe even family will try to keep us in that place, will attempt to label us, but Jesus has removed all such labels. It is hard for people we have hurt in the past to accept this transformation but that does not deny its truth and its power. You cannot allow your past to shape you any more because you have been cut off from it. Don't go back there but press on to take hold of the prize for which Jesus died for you to receive. My friend, you are a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come. Now live! Live for Jesus' glory, having been washed of all your sin, shame and guilt. Let him set you free from that prison so you can soar with the eagles. Be free!

1 comment:

Donna Cole said...

Tormented by your past?
Insecure about future?
Unable to forgive yourself for repeated sins?
Think God will never forgive you?

Grace Trumps Guilt is the fascinating memoir of author Donna Cole's journey from debilitating feelings of guilt to triumphant gratitude in the wake of knowing personally the healing effects of God's grace. Ms. Cole's candid sharing of her own human failings and the deeply personal ways God revealed His abiding love for her along the way can't help but inspire readers to forge ahead in their walks with God, knowing that for them too, Grace Trumps Guilt.