We may have experiences in our past: horrible, tragic events that evoke painful (maybe even shameful) memories. But guess what? Jesus died for those things – so that we no longer have to live in the bondage of what happened to us. When Jesus was buried – he took all the dirt, mud, and trash that Satan throws on us and He buried that stuff with him. Then He walked out of the grave – leaving all of it behind. The bible says, “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!” That means Jesus freed us from our past (the shameful things that we did and that was done to us). However, some people try to go back to the grave and dig through the dead, dry bones of the past. Or others try to drag us back there by constantly bringing “into remembrance” the pain and shame of our past.
Now I am in NO way saying that we should ignore the past – bury our heads in the sand and pretend like nothing ever happened. I watched a documentary called G-Dog about a Jesuit priest, called Father G, who rescues kids from gangs in a rough, urban area. He was commenting about a young man in his parish that had recently been murdered and he took the death really hard. His poignant and wise words were that we need to put death in its’ place. He said that there are so many other things worse than death. We need to write them down, study them, and pray over them. So that when death comes, it will not completely destroy us. I feel this is the same with our painful past. We need to put the shenanigans of the enemy in its’ place. Yes, acknowledge what happened, grieve over what was lost, but then move out of that place of pain and bondage and follow God through the Red Sea, the desert, and eventually across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. Jesus died for us. In John 10:10, He talks specifically about the devils plans and His “counter-terrorism battle strategy: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that THEY may have life and have it abundantly.” The “They” He talks about is us – His followers! When we keep returning to that place of pain, it’s like re-enlisting as a slave in Egypt or going back to the grave (that empty dirty grave that Jesus defeated) and riffling through the dead things. Don’t do it! Refuse to be dragged back to Egypt – to the pit of despair. If Jesus rose from the dead, you who are children of God, have risen with him! The power of sin and death no longer has a hold over you. Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. Keep saying that. Tattoo it on your heart.
When God delivered his people (who had been held in captivity as slaves in Egypt), He was basically saying, “Look, I’m taking you out of this bondage and setting you free.” But crazy as it might sound, when the road got a little rough, the people tried to go BACK to Egypt!! They tried to go back to that place of pain, misery, and bondage. I guess a prison they can see was better in their minds than a promised land that they couldn’t see. That’s where Faith is essential.
We may face circumstances in our lives that are difficult, maybe even downright impossible. We may have mountains that we look at and say, ‘No way can I get around this! And even if I could, I’m so weary of my journey, I don’t have the strength.” But here’s where God’s Amazing, Stupefying, Incredible Grace steps in!! We don’t have to have to strength to complete the journey. The Apostle Paul knew this! He knew that in his weakness, where he can’t – G O D can. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness! So the weaker we feel, the stronger God’s power is in our lives! All he wants us to do is wake up every day in a position of Faith. Knowing that even though today, “I just don’t feel like it and I’m tired”, GOD GOT YOU. Did you hear that? Re-read it! The God of the universe, the Creator of Everything – He is 100% in control! You need to know that whatever comes your way today – it’s all His! You must stand in Faith and unflinchingly be rooted in the words, “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. “ “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “..as your days, so shall thy strength be.” “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” “I am MORE than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me.”
I want to leave you with a scripture that has incredible power in attesting of God’s love and concern for us (us = those who have surrendered our lives to Him and have the honor to be called “Children of God”):
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38 NIT