Clinging to The Past
Good morning family. I have presented this message several times during different seasons of my life. It is a great honor, pleasure, and joy to share it with you today. I want to share with you what God has shown me, not placing any expectation on you and where you are today.
Note: One thing I could add before we begin is that when I talk about forgetting and moving on (I learned from Ken Sande: The Peacemaker) is that forgetting is most about not letting the past wound me any longer, not letting the past dictate how I interact with others today, letting the past teach me how to become more like Jesus. Forgetting is not about putting out of my mind, I can’t, God can if He so chooses to do so, and I submit to Him and see what he will do. There have been things that are forgotten and things that still need work.
Let's go to the Scriptures…
Isaiah 43:18-19 18 "But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 19 For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert!
God promises us a new thing, I believe this happens for sure when we become followers of Jesus and the process of regeneration through the Holy Spirit is being carried out in our lives. Forgetting the things of old and not dwelling on the past is difficult for sure. Forgetting is a God thing, given to us through the revealing of His word by the Holy Spirit. I wanted to take this seriously and began to ask God to give me His heart in this area of my life.
God brought me to the epistle to the church of Philippi. Paul knew about letting go of the old and clinging to the new. There was in his very make-up generations of hostility toward those who were not a part of the club his was once in.
Philippians 3:13-14 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
So here we have it, God makes it very clear to me that forgetting is a part of the make-up of being His disciple. There will be a day when forgetfulness will be perfected and that day of course we know is when Jesus comes back to take His bride home. Until then we are encouraged to focus all our energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…
The answer to “Can I really forget,” is yes you can, and it is a process worth pursuing. We, in our own strength, the strength of the flesh, cannot. We do know the one who has given us the strength to see such a feat be worked out in our lives. The process starts with God the Father
Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.
And the process is brought to realization through Christ
Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
And the process is being worked out in us today by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Are you clinging to things of the past that keep the Holy Spirit from growing His fruits in your life? Do you desire to forget? Maybe you’re not interested in even trying to forget, it’s just too difficult. Today, God wants you to know you can forget the things of the past and He wants to help you begin.
All events and services are canceled. We will resume January 15.
Dean Walker; Pastor