Annabelle was so caught in the pain of her divorce that it colored every decision that she made. It had come as a shock when her husband of eight years had decided she wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted the pretty blonde neighbor. She knew that he had been leaving in the night and coming back before morning, but she told herself he was troubled by work and was out walking to work it through. The lie she told herself had been hard for her to believe but she didn’t want to face the truth. When he packed up and left, she had never felt so alone.
Since that day, Annabelle had been afraid to trust anyone. She didn’t want anyone to get close. She had been going to church and liked the idea that God loved her, but really didn’t feel the love. People were nice, but she didn’t let anyone get close and if anyone tried, she would push them away. A woman named Ruth, kept coming to greet her and talk with her. She would sit with her in church. Annabelle tried to ignore her, but Ruth didn’t seem to mind her aloof attitude. She just kept coming back.
One Sunday, Ruth took Annabelle by the hand and said that they were going to go out to lunch together. Annabelle was so shocked by the touch of her hand, she just mumbled, “Okay.” At lunch, she asked Annabelle, “Are you tired of living in the past?” Surprised that Ruth knew what was going on, a tear slipped down Annabelle’s cheek and she looked at this woman who was making her face things.
Ruth helped her understand that the God who loved her had provided her a future and a hope. “ Lay aside the fear and quit the past,” she said. That day, Annabelle prayed with Ruth and she felt her heart melt. Ruth explained that she was made brand new. Her old life wasn’t who she was anymore.
Ruth explained, ” The future that God has provided you means that your old life has passed away.” It would take Annabelle some time before she really began to understand in her heart what she knew in her mind.
As believers, we often don’t realize that we don’t have a past anymore. “Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” We may still had some of the actions and feelings that we had before we were made new. In I Corinthians 6:9, there is a long list of identities we had before our new lives in Christ. The list includes idolater, adulterer, thief and drunk – but then it says, “And such WERE some of you.” We may still act wrong (we might even think wrong ), but inside we have been made righteous and God will take the inside and bring it to the outside if we will just cooperate with Him. When His Holy Spirit is in our hearts, He is not mad at us for who we were, and He has a future and a hope for each of us. He wants us to have all the benefits of our new life.
Annabelle is no longer a rejected divorcée’; she is a child of the living God. She is royalty. She is a citizen of heaven. When she realizes that the past is not her prison anymore and she begins to live the present based on the future, she will find that she is changed from glory to glory. The past has no hold on her that she doesn’t give it.
Today’s Lesson: Begin to lay aside your past. It’s over! Romans 12:1 asks us ‘be transformed by the renewing of our mind.’ We have a role to play in finding out that the past is dead. You may have some things to deal with because of it, but it is no longer your identity. Father God will help you deal with the results of the old life while he teaches you about the benefits he has in store for you in the new life.
He tells us in Jer. 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for a future and a hope and not to bring you sorrow.” It goes on to say, ‘”Then you will call on me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.”
So, it’s up to you. Live in the past and struggle with the pain; continue to live in fear of having feelings for someone and giving them the power to hurt you, and nuture your unforgiveness because it hurt so much, OR renew your mind and live out of the future promises while watching the present come in line. In truth, if you call on the name of the Lord, He will answer and show you things you know not!
Life in the Spirit is a blast! Will you give up your rights to the pain, bitterness and un-forgiveness of your life before Christ and determine to no longer identify with the pain of the past and choose victory in Jesus? If you need help, please feel free to contact us by e-mail.
Deep Calls to Deep
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Jeremiah 29:11-14a 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity . . .
Romans 12:1-2 1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.