The longer I live, the more aware I become of the struggle that people have with moving past themselves. The more aware I become of just how difficult it is for them to release or to let go of who they were before Christ.
I have seen and heard tell of countless instances where they, in a sense, go back in time. They are transported back to the ugliest of their sins. They relive the worst of their faults. They refuse to part ways with that thing or those memories that separated them from God…even though in Christ they have been made free.
Stuck in a seeming cyclical pattern of sin-believe-repent, they endlessly shift between two extremes – guilty or shame-filled sinner and faith-driven saint.
But how can those who daily or periodically transport themselves back in time and repeatedly relive their sins move past their stuck places?
How can they live by faith, knowing that they are the freest of free?
How can they once and for all end the mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining pattern of sin-believe-repent?
Might I suggest the following ways to combat the negative “going back in time” challenge that many may be presently dealing with…
Get in God’s word! Sit in it. Soak it in. Allow it to saturate your mind and heart. Don’t walk away from it. Even if you have to read one verse over and over again, read it faithfully until it speaks. (Psalms is a good book to find yourself and to be encouraged.)
Remember what you have been taught. Remember what you have read, learned and studied. Remember what initially led you to the experience of salvation. Remember the words and sacrifice of Christ. Reflect on what led you to your baptism. (Make this a daily exercise.)
Rewind your mind. As soon as wayward shadows or dark whisperings from your past try to lay hold of your thought life, recite a Scripture or lift up a praise. Combat the unholy with the holy. Condition yourself to immediately respond to sin’s influence with a touch of grace.
Engage in those activities and experiences that will renew and invigorate your life in every way. Take time to get to know God and to appreciate the things that He has made for His pleasure and yours. Be blessed by His creation and infinite provision.
Release every sin and weight which so easily entangles you. Do this by first recognizing it, confessing it, expressing your struggle with it (in words to the LORD) and trusting in Christ (knowing that He has already spoken to and overcome it for you.) (Get a red letter Bible and read all the words of Christ. Allow His words to show you His true intent.)
Resist the devil and he WILL flee. Reject the evil one by injecting Christ at every encounter.
Rehearse, practice, and live out righteousness. Rehearse, practice, and live out holiness. Rehearse, practice, and live out Truth.
Every thing that you have just read, go back and do.