Ever so often I find myself crying before God and apologizing for my numerous mistakes I’ve made in the past. There are days that I wonder if I will ever shake those painful years. I still live in the shadow of some of those decisions, which is why I get frustrated at times and wish I still wasn’t seeing the impact of past sin.
My frustration starts a circle of remembering, regret, blaming myself, repenting (again), self-pity, and other forms of emotional battery that I lay upon myself.
I was bemoaning to God a few days ago about how useless I felt, again, and acknowledged that I am where I am in life because of choices I made – aka “seeds” that I’ve planted. As I was moved to tears for myself, my brilliant mind realized that I am not useless; somehow my own thinking has disqualified myself from my idea of an effective Christian.
Basically, I’ve been keeping myself a prisoner of my past.
Even so, my little outburst was different than ones I had before. It’s like I was bemoaning my pitiful woes out of habit rather than conviction – and that was a good thing! The chains of regret no longer had the strength it used to. All glory to God! My time reading and speaking God’s truth over me was releasing the hook of past regrets.
What started out as a little pity party turned into a realization that I was being set free. And a little smile finally transformed my pouty lips…
Renewing our mind means taking the time to fill our thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. Sometimes we get a dramatic revelation that changes our thinking immediately, other times it’s like pulling back thin layers one at a time until one day we realize that old, destructive thoughts no longer have the power that they used to. Praise God!
I picked up my Bible and started reading in I Kings and my eyes caught these words:
“As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress…”(italics mine)
Whoa. I re-read it and the words popped off the page: who has redeemed my life from every distress.
This is David speaking. DAVID. I’m assuming you know about David’s life if you are reading this blog…but just to summarize his life:
- He was the youngest son and the least important in his family.
- He was anointed king by a prophet when he was a teenager.
- He didn’t become king until a LONG time later and not before the existing king tried to murder him several times.
- When he became popular he disregarded his kingly duties…
- This led him to commit adultery because he wasn’t with his army like he was supposed to be, instead, he stayed home and invited his commanding officer’s wife over for a night cap.
- He knocked up someone else’s wife.
- He murder said woman’s husband.
- He tried to hide his sin.
- Parenting wasn’t his strong point, in fact, he was a terrible father.
- He had lots of wives and lots of kids, and the kids hated each other, raped and killed each other.
David doesn’t exactly get the “parent of the year”, “husband of the year”, or “king of the year” awards by our standards. YET…
God called David his friend. He loved David and made him great promises because “he was a man after God’s own heart”.
Because David had a soft, tender, repentant heart even though he made some horrible choices that caused several people to lose their life: Uriah the Hittite, his newborn son, his son Absalom, his daughter Tamar, his son Adonijah, to name a few. These people lost everything as a direct result of David’s choices. I made some choices that have dramatically impacted many people’s lives in addition to mine. Who knows how that will play out in the years to come?
In spite of this huge mess, David RESTED in the comfort of knowing his life was redeemed. David experienced the power of TRUE repentance. He EMBRACED God’s forgiveness.
The difference between David and myself?
He believed God.
David believed God forgave him so he was able to move on with his life as if his sin never happened. David was the one who penned:
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:11-13)
Wow! Wow. Wow! I finally got it.
After I repented the first time God forgot all about it.
What do you regret most in your life? Visualize that regret. Feel the pain of it. Humble yourself before God and repent of your sin. Then wad that filth up into a ball and throw it out!! If you need to do something like that literally then do so. Don’t hold on to it. It’s trash. Who wants to carry around trash?
Now, bask in the immense loving-kindness of our marvelous God and move forward in the calling and blessings of God, which are so abundant!
The perfect segue from this revelation is found in Ephesians 2:10. Paul tells us that each of us was handcrafted by God through Jesus to do His good works. Think of it…God planned good things for me – and you – long before we were born and He wants us to walk that good path.
God has good things waiting for you and for me! The only thing holding either of us back is holding on to that which we have already repented of.
Are you ready to let go and move on into good things? I am!