Saturday, July 30, 2016

It Doesn't Matter, It's In The Past!

One of my favorite cartoon movies is the Lion King. When it was in the theaters, back in the 90's, I took my kids to see it like four times. My favorite scene in the movie is where Rafiki, the monkey, hits Simba, the Lion King, in the back of the head with a stick. Simba eclaims, "Ouch! What did you do that for?"

The monkey replies, "It doesn't matter it's in the past."

"But it hurts," cried Simba.

"Yes the past can hurt," replied the Rafiki.

The point that Rafiki was trying to teach Simba was the past can be hard to forget, but we must forget it if we want to move forward. Sometimes I think we could all learn a little lesson from that monkey.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

As human beings it is physically impossible, barring a miracle or a traumatic head injury, to “forget” the past.  So what is the Apostle Paul talking about?  How do we “forget” what is behind us.  How do we get beyond our past?
What is the past?  I looked it up.  In this case it is a noun.  One of the definitions I found said the past is an earlier period of a person’s life that is thought to be of a shameful nature.  This definition seems to fit what Paul is eluding to here.  Not every part of our pasts are shameful, but it’s only the shameful parts that hinder us from moving forward, and because they interfere with God's will for us, they need to be forgotten.  It’s the events in our lives where we’ve failed God that seem to be the hardest to get over.  They keep us from worshiping the Lord freely, they hinder our relationships with others.  The past can be a crippling force if we allow it to.
Another definition I found said, “The past is the period of time prior to speaking.”  The past is the period of time prior to the words that are coming out of your mouth right now.  Whew that’s powerful man!  Your past only has a hold on you if the words that are currently coming out of your mouth allows it to. 
If you keep focusing on what you have done, instead of focusing on what God can do, you’ll stay encumbered by the past.  Instead of living in a land of milk and honey, you’ll be stuck wandering in the dessert: compassing the mountain over and over again and never entering into the promise and blessing that God has for you today. You need to speak the only thing that can erase your past – The Name of Jesus!
Stop receiving the lies of your enemy.  Stop dwelling on your failure.  Paul tells us in Romans that basically the law was given to us to show us that we were incapable of receiving salvation by obeying a set of rules.  The purpose of the law was to show us we are weak and need God’s help.  So He sent Jesus.
In Colossians Paul writes:

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV)
God has taken everything that was against you and nailed it to the cross and then made a public spectacle of you enemy the devil.  I can picture the Lord coming up behind Satan with a bloody nail pierced hand grabbing him by the back of the neck, and taking the keys of hell from him, and then dragging him back and forth in front of his subjects so they could see their ruler had been conquered! Praise God our enemy is defeated!

God has made us alive in Christ. We are no longer what we once were, we are no longer a slave to sin, we no longer live under a death sentence, our past can longer hold us down, and we no longer have to accept the lies of the enemy. In the name of Jesus is the power to do what is physically impossible to do, I can do all things! It is the name of Jesus that brings about the miracle that allows us to "forget" what is behind us.

Since your past is the period up to the point of speaking – Speak the name of Jesus, forget what is behind you and live abundantly! In Jesus' name!

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