“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” –Isaiah 55:6-7 NASB
Countless people today are nurturing their past with great care. Instead of bringing their history to Christ, they have continued to advance with hearts broken over past failures that have never been dealt with. Many remain captives of their former days. One such story conveys this truth most assuredly.
At the age of thirty-three, Sam fell to her knees weeping uncontrollably over her sin. “How could I have done such a thing?” she sighed. She pondered intensely over where she could go for help or even to whom she could talk. Sadly, Sam allowed the emotion of shame to rule and concluded that she would never tell anyone of her sin. Marching forward two years, she continues to weep over the same past issues while battling numerous unhealthy emotions.
Trusting God with My Pain: “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NASB)
I know firsthand how painful and scary it is to bring our pasts to Christ, but I also know the freedom that comes from doing so. I spent countless years running from my “yesterdays.” And like Sam, I suffered greatly for it. I felt it was too painful to discuss my past with God. I was embarrassed by the choices I had made and feared anyone finding out. Yet my denial to face my Savior was actually delaying the healing that He so desired to bring.
Then on one particular evening, I walked into my closet, sat down in the dark and made a decision to bring my history to God. And in that moment His grace collided with my shame and overtook a broken heart with love.
God gave me the courage to bring my past to His throne room of grace. And grace was just what I experienced. There would be no more Band-Aids placed upon my life’s issues, but instead, a divine intervention by God Himself. He wanted my yesterdays so He could give me His tomorrows of new beginnings. He wanted my fears so He could give me His peace.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. –2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
While treading through the restoration journey, we can quickly become apprehensive, especially if we focus on our circumstances rather than on God. For whatever we allow to draw our attention will certainly captivate our hearts.
The enemy works tirelessly in presenting opportunities to fear. Especially when he knows we are on the verge of surrender. He will try and pose such questions as, “What if people find out about your sin? What will they think?”
I remember numerous times the enemy would attempt to lead me to dwell on the many uncertainties of my past. Yet what I eventually came to realize was the enemy was devising a strategic plan in order to build strongholds. For Satan knew if he could keep me living in fear, I would never embrace or even know the freedom God so longed to give me.
Apprehension is a tool of the enemy to retain us in bondage to our past. And when we surrender to its power, it will have a crippling impact on our lives. Yet God tells us in Isaiah 41:10 not to fear for the sole reason that He is with us. This passage conveys secure commands as well as comforting promises that we can trust in daily.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ -Isaiah 41:10 NASB
Fear stands at the heart’s door, demanding entrance. It draws back its bow and begins to shoot arrows toward numerous areas in our lives. When Satan knows you are ready to bring your past to Jesus, he will work over time in trying to stop it. But remember, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Don’t give in to his threats; instead, surrender. For when you do, you will experience a peace that passeth all understanding, while your fears subside.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25 NASB
When I relinquished everything to God, my life would never be the same again. He began a work in my heart most amazing.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NASB
Remember, fear will drive us away from God while surrender will bring us to Him. Choose today to bring your past to Christ while knowing with certainty you are safe in His hands.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when I am afraid I will put my trust in You. In You O God, whose word I praise. I shall not be afraid, for what can mere man do to me. My past has many moments that fear and shame would love to claim, but today, I am asking You for the courage to bring it all to Your throne room of grace. I can’t fix it, I can’t change it and I can’t make it disappear, but this I know, You can take it and bring good from it. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.