Being a pastor, I get to talk to a lot of people about a lot of things. And honestly, a lot of the time, the a lot of things, has to do with an individual’s past.
Look, everyone has a past.
Everyone has done or said things that they are ashamed of.
The thing that I’ve noticed is that many struggle with their past. In fact, they spend so much of the time digging up the past, that they can never move forward. And I don’t believe this is how God desires His children to live.
God ISN’T waiting to hand us a shovel so that we can start digging up the past.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)
If we’ve asked God to forgive us and we’ve truly turned from whatever sin we have committed, then we don’t need to dig things up, because He isn’t going to dig them up.
Now, I’m not saying that we won’t have to deal with the consequences of the things we’ve done, because we will, but I am saying that there is no need to keep digging up the things that God has already forgiven and forgotten.
God IS waiting for us to move forward.
It’s difficult to move forward if we are busy digging up the things behind us. In fact, I believe it’s impossible.
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)
In the aforementioned verse, Paul says that he “forgets” what is behind in order to move forward. That word can be translated to mean”to no longer care for.” In order to move forward, Paul makes the decision to no longer care or to no longer be bound by what happened in the past, because he knows that God has something much better in store for him if he moves forward.
Let that sink in for a moment.
God has something better for us.
I believe with all of my heart that He really does.
We simply need to move forward.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18)
I believe that God wants to set people free of their past. I believe God wants to remove the weight of oppression that we willingly keep upon ourselves because we continue to dig things up that simply need to remain buried.
I believe God wants us to drop our shovels, never pick them up again, and embrace the freedom of the forgiveness that He so freely bestows upon us.