“FEAR THAT YOUR PAST MAKES YOU INELIGIBLE”
It can follow you like an annoying mosquito on a hot summer day just waiting to get a portion of your blood. It’s like that sweat bee that you try to run, duck, and slap at to get rid of, but that little pest doesn’t want to leave. As humorous as that may sound, we’ve all been there and know exactly how it feels. That’s the example I think of when I have to council people that are struggling with their past. Even though I remind them that their past sins have been forgiven, that little sweat bee keeps chasing them.
Things can be going great for several days and then out of no where, you see or hear something that reminds you of your past and you sink right back down into that pit of regret. Unfortunately, there are some that want to use your past as a weapon against you and throw it up in your face. When that happens, you are suddenly an emotional wreck. You’re battling anger, frustration, and remorse, all at the same time. Angry and hurt that someone would throw it up in your face, but frustrated and remorseful that you ever made the mistake in the first place.
As you shuffle through these emotions, deep inside you have a strong desire to do a work for God and you even feel like He’s calling you to do something. You’re feeling that call, but you can’t seem to get over your fall. You need to remember that your fall is behind you, but the call is ahead of you. What do you think the enemy wants you to focus on? Do you think he wants you to focus on where you’ve been, or where God wants you to go? The reality is, you can’t go back and change what’s already happened.
The awesome thing about God is that He will never let a mistake in your past keep Him from using you in His Kingdom. Even if you break the first set of stone tablets like Moses did, He’ll send you back to the mountain for a new set. Simon Peter promised the Lord that he would never forsake Him, but that’s exactly what he did when they took Jesus to be crucified. Even though Peter denied Him, after Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to him and forgave him of his actions. Not only did Jesus forgive him, but Peter became one of the most important Apostles in the New Testament. Don’t you think Paul struggled with his past as he was being called to do a work for God? He fought people who believed in Jesus and even had them killed, and now Jesus was calling him to work for His Kingdom. Paul was overwhelmed at the grace and mercy of Jesus and devoted the rest of his life to Him and whatever He wanted him to do.
The list goes on and on from people in the Bible that messed up and God still used them. Imperfection, weakness, and yielding to temptation is in our nature and God knows that. Still, He will never let our vulnerability cause us to be ineligible. God became a human being just like us and He knows the feeling of temptation. He understands our weaknesses. Everything that tempts you, Jesus felt too. I know that Jesus never sinned, but He experienced the vulnerability we all have in dealing with human nature. Paul stated it like this:
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
His perfection will not cause Him to punish you for your imperfection. His greatness doesn’t mean He’ll ignore you in your weakness. In fact, He told Paul, “In your weakness, I am made strong”. If I were preaching right now, at this point I would ask…can I get an Amen??? Knowing He loves me and wants to use me in spite of my mistakes, makes me rejoice!!! Even though I regret my past, He makes me want to celebrate my future.
Why don’t you just ignore the ones that can’t get over your past? Pay more attention to the voice of God than you do the voices of criticism. Your testimony of being an over-comer is exactly what God needs you to share. You’re not helping anyone by standing on the sidelines crying over what you can’t fix or change. If the Master has need of you, then stand up straight with your focus on what’s ahead of you and let God know…HERE AM I LORD, SEND ME!!!
P.S. Kill the sweat bee!!!