So, you’re saved now. You love Jesus. You go to church. You work on living this thing out. You read your bible. You do all of these things.. but deep down you still have this nagging feeling from your past. It’s a guilty feeling that you have that you’re not good enough, saved enough, powerful enough or strong enough.
Before I continue I want you to know that everybody has a past– not just you. We needed Jesus because we had to be saved FROM something. As most of you know– the biggest area I struggled with was placing my hope and trust in humans and not Christ– specifically, my little boyfriends when I was single. I found value in relationship more than I did God and I made those relationships my idols. I wanted humans affirmation more than I wanted Christ so I jumped from relationship to relationship all while raising my hands in church and speaking in tongues. Although my past may not be like your past– every single person HAS one. I believe that it’s because we live in a fallen world that we WILL have tribulations but “Be of good cheer– because Christ has overcome this world.” (John 16:33). This blog isn’t another attempt for you to get emotional, write down all of your past & crumple it up & throw it over your shoulder. Sadly, it will still exist. You must allow God to do a deep work in your HEART and let Him rip out anything in you that’s not like HIM.
When you gave your heart to Jesus, He CLEANSED you from all of your sin & all unrighteoutness. (1 John). If you’ve been abused, raped, molested, hurt or physically abused I want you to know that God doesn’t hate you & HE still wants to — USE you. He hates sin. He knew that on this earth we would experience unspeakable things and that is why He sent His only Son, Jesus to this earth to make you whole again. We have to start believing that it is really Christ that can heal us from our past. “By the strips of Jesus you are healed” in 2 Peter 2:24 is spiritual and referring to SALVATION. Now that you are SAVED and belong to the FATHER “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:12 YOU ARE A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST! Now, you just have to BELIEVE by FAITH that you are.
When your past begins to cripple you– this is what happens– situations happen over and over again and instead of really dealing with those things head on and giving them to Christ–we begin to get hard. We say “I’m fine, I don’t need nobody– I’m GOOD” as you continue to push your hurt under the rug. What happens is the rug can only hold so much of your past so then your past begins to seep out into your workplace, relationships and every other area. You begin to charge others for what happened in your past. Then, you wonder why you cannot function properly in certain relationships. You jump from FRIENDSHIP to Friendship.. relationship to relationship.. boss to boss– blaming everybody and everything for your HURT while you refuse to trust or commit to anyone in fear of getting hurt. You want things to work– but deep down you cannot quite figure it out. It’s because your foundation is hurt and not Christ. “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-14. So what does that tell me? It tells me that your foundation in life will get TESTED. If your foundation is based on the abuse from your past– it’s going to FAIL you over and over again. Until you allow God to rip up that foundation in your heart and let Him transform your heart into His image- you will remain spiritually crippled and heavy.
I gotta be honest with you, if you’re holding onto the guilt and shame from your past– you’re most likely doing it to others while you pray to be free. How can you afford to walk around and hold people to their past when YOU had one as well? We are the BODY of Christ! We must come together at some point and start building and encouraging each other! Tell God that you’re bitter and jealous of everybody else and that you need help! God can WORK with somebody that is has a heart that constantly judges itself! He cannot work with you if you constantly IGNORE your very wicked heart.
1) Confess all known, previously unconfessed sin. In some cases, feelings of guilt are appropriate because confession is needed. Many times, we feel guilty because we are guilty! You are guilty of choosing that man over God. Yes it was wrong but YES it can change right NOW. (See David’s description of guilt and its solution in Psalm 32:3-5.)
2) Ask the Lord to reveal any other sin that may need confessing. Be completely open and honest before the Lord. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). I often pray that God forgives me of any unknown sin and I ask Him to reveal my heart to me so that I can change and be conformed into His image.
3) Trust the promise of God that He will forgive sin and remove guilt, based on the blood of Christ (1 John 1:9; Psalm 85:2; 86:5; Romans 8:1).
4) On occasions when guilty feelings arise (and they will) over sins already confessed and forsaken, reject such feelings as false guilt. The Lord has been true to His promise to forgive. Read and meditate on Psalm 103:8-12.
5) Ask the Lord to rebuke Satan, your accuser, and ask the Lord to restore the joy that comes with freedom from guilt (Psalm 51:12).
6) Your PAST does NOT define you, Christ’s death and resurrection defines you. Ask God to help you to believe this.
7) Cast down stupid thoughts that attack you. (2 Corinthians 10:5).
8) Guard your heart against TV shows and music that reminds you of your past. You have a part to play— God will always play His part– will you?
9) Don’t go back to the sin that kept you in bondage. It’s better to be uncomfortable in the arms of Christ than comfortable in the arms of a random that is cheating on you, beating you and using your body.
10) Walk in the newness of Christ daily. I don’t have time to entertain my past because I’m much too busy focused on what God told me to do! I’m TIRED at the end of the day and I have enough energy to do what HE called me to do alone. As my sister would say, “I don’t have time for all that extra!” haha! 🙂
Psalm 32 is an awesome study if you’re struggling in this area. Although David had sinned (murderer, adulterer, liar, etc) terribly, he found freedom from both sin and guilty feelings. He dealt with the cause of guilt and the reality of forgiveness. Psalm 51 is another good passage to investigate. The focus here is confession of sin, as David pleads with God from a heart full of guilt and sorrow. Restoration and joy are the results. I talk about spending time with God and confessing your sins often in “How to Spend Time with God”— I think it’s important that you recognize that true freedom comes from not just “knowing” but believing that Christ DIED for you.
Finally, if sin has been confessed, repented of, and forgiven, it is time to move on. Remember that we who have come to Christ have been made new creatures in Him. Part of the “old” which has gone is the remembrance of past sins and the guilt they produced. Sadly, we are SO prone to wallowing in memories of our past sin, meditating on memories which should have been dead and buried long ago. This is pointless and waste of precious time. It’s time to refocus & get busy about accomplishing the will of God for your life. God has a plan for you– regardless of your past. So, if you have people that are constantly bringing up your past and throwing it in your face (or even if you’re doing this to yourself)– remind them & yourself that “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”– 2 Corinthians 5:17. You may have to tell yourself this twenty times a day but it’s better to fight BACK than to sit and entertain your past. And if others are focused on your past, don’t worry– as they focus on it, you focus on Christ. Then, you’ll look up and Christ will put you on BLAST & show you off, just to show this silly world that He calls the last.. first.
God loves you like crazy,