Posts Tagged With: past

Stop Looking in the Rearview Mirror

Rearview Mirror

Sometimes we spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror of our life that we miss what God is doing today. Our past does play an important role in our life, but we are not supposed to be so focused on it that we are not living in the present.

Isaiah 43:19-19

“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Where is your focus? Are you constantly looking back at things you have done or things that have been done to you? We need to keep our past in the proper perspective. We are to learn from it and use it as a way to give God thanks and praise for all He has done in our lives. But, it is not to be our focus.

God is constantly working in our lives and we need to be focused on the present so we an see where He is working in our lives and hear what His plans are for us today. This is the verse the Lord highlighted for me a couple of years ago. I was focused on my history with a church and all God had done in my life during that time. But God was about to do something new. He was calling me to a new place to do a new thing.

It was hard to leave a place where I had come to know the Lord, served and had many friends. It wasn’t until after I responded in obedience and left that the Lord revealed the way He was making in the spiritual desert I found myself in. It is easy to stay where we are comfortable but that is not always where God wants us to be.

A history we have with a place or with people is a blessing we are to treasure in our hearts, not what we are to cling to. God wants us to cling to Him, lean into Him so He can reveal what He has for our present and our future. If I had only focused on looking back, the past and the connections with it, I would never have seen what God had for me today.

I cannot begin to explain the blessings upon blessings God has given me in this new adventure. It was not always easy and some of the lessons were tough to learn but so worth it.

Think about how you are viewing your life. Are you constantly looking back at your past? Are you allowing the things in your past to hold you back from what God has for you today? When driving, we glance in our rearview mirror from time to time but we don’t keep our eyes there. That is what we need to do with our past. Glance at it, appreciate it, learn from it and then focus forward. Who knows what God has in store for you today!

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His Grace is Sufficient


Today we will look at how Paul understood that God’s grace was sufficient for Him and how God could use him regardless of his past.

Ephesians 3:8

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,

Paul considered himself “less than the least of all the Lord’s people” because of his past.

Acts. 9:1-2

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Remember Paul’s name used to be Saul and he spent his time trying to capture and persecute followers of Christ. Even though Paul had a less than stellar past, the Lord chose him to preach the good news to the Gentiles. If God can use someone like Paul who persecuted Christ’s followers, God can use you too.

Sometimes we allow the enemy to convince us we cannot be used by God. We allow Satan to use our guilt or shame from things in our past or even things we are currently doing to convince us we cannot serve the Lord. Jesus came to provide forgiveness for our sins; our sins from the past, our sins we are currently committing and our sins we will commit in the future. There is nothing you have done that will prevent the Lord from using you to serve His purposes. His grace was sufficient for Paul and it is sufficient for you as well. Spend some time seeking forgiveness from the Lord for your sins and ask Him to reveal to you how He wants to use you to serve Him.

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Your Past Doesn’t Have to Determine Your Future

Scripture is full of examples of people whose lives were completely transformed by knowing the Lord. Our God is a god of transformation so our past doesn’t have to determine our future.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!

We don’t know a lot about Moses’ life after being retrieved from the river by pharaoh’s daughter. However, we know at some point he knew he was not an Egyptian and identified himself with the Hebrew slaves. After seeing one of the slaves being mistreated, Moses took matters into his own hands.

Exodus 2:11-12

 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 

Despite killing a man, God chose Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. If God can use a murderer to fulfill His purposes, He can use anyone. There is nothing you have done, are doing or will do in the future that will disqualify you from serving the Lord. We think God can’t use us because of things we have done or not done, but it just isn’t true. Regardless of what you have done or what things have been done to you, God has a plan for your life and wants to use you to serve Him.

Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, was a persecutor of followers of Christ, yet the Lord chose him to write more books of the New Testament than anyone else – even the disciples. Paul spent a good portion of his life not following Christ. It was not too late for Paul to follow the Lord and it isn’t too late for you to follow Him either. 

The one thing Moses and Paul have in common is they had an encounter with the Lord and their lives were forever changed. For Moses, it was the Lord speaking to him through a burning bush and for Paul it was being blinded by a bright light on the road to Damascus. You probably won’t have a burning bush or blinded by the light experience, but you too, can have your life transformed by coming to know the Lord.

I didn’t know the Lord for 29 years and since I came to know and love Him, my life has never been the same. The enemy wants us to be focused on things that have happened to us in the past or things we have done in order for us to feel condemned. Satan wants nothing more than for us to believe our past will prevent us from being used by the Lord in  the present and the future. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

God wants to be in a relationship with each of us and wants to use us to serve Him. Our service to Him is all about Him and not about us. It is about His redeeming love, forgiveness, grace and power and not about our past sins or traumas.

What do you need to let go of today and allow the Lord to heal in your heart so He can use you for His service? What sins do you need to turn away from and seek His forgiveness? Spend some time with the Lord and ask Him how He wants to use you to serve Him and then be obedient to His call. Remember your past doesn’t have to determine your future!


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