MOST CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PAST STAY WITH THE UNSAVED. BUT, TRADITION, WOUNDS, AND INFLUENCES OF THE PAST ARE ALL ABLE TO BE BROKEN BY THE POWER OF THE LORD JESUS.
Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.
THE PAST IS USUALLY THOUGHT OF AS MANY YEARS AGO. BUT IT CAN BE MONTHS, WEEKS, DAYS, OR EVEN MINUTES AGO. EACH THING BEHIND US CANNOT BE REDEEMED, BUT IT CAN BE A TEACHER FOR TODAY.
1. GOD REFERS TO THE PAST AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR US.
A. SOME LESSONS CAN BE ABSORBED INTO OUR SPIRITUAL BEHAVIORS, AND WE WON’T EVEN BE CONSCIOUS OF THEM.
Like a child walking. Do you remember what it was like every time you walk ? Or, does it become a part of you ?
1 Corinthians 10:5-6 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
B. WE SHOULD NEVER ALLOW THE SINS OF THE PAST TO COME ALIVE AGAIN.
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
C. REMEMBER THE BLESSINGS AND LEARN MORE THAN SURFACE TRUTHS.
Matthew 16:9-12 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
2. SOME ARE NUMB TO THE CONDITIONS OF THEIR PAST.
A. THERE IS THE PROBABILITY WE WILL BECOME INSENSITIVE IF WE KEEP THE SAME SINS, AND EXCUSE THEM.
Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
THERE IS THE DANGER OF IGNORING PAST LESSONS WHICH HAVE BEEN REPEATED.
B. THE DESIRE FOR THE PAST IS NOT A REALISTIC WORK OF THE SOUL.
Just like saying “Ah, the good old days.” We can’t get them back, so instead we must move ahead ! For the Christian, that means striving to improve everything. This includes improving on how you handle things. For an example, a four year old gets upset at a playmate, and cries and walks away. Just as a child should improve in their behavior as they get older, so a Christian should mature in how they deal with situations and interacting with others as they mature.. Yet, some keep the same ways they always had. Others, as children got attention and were praised when they hit other kids or called them names. If these children didn’t leave the past behind, they will end up doing the same things as adults.
Job 29:2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
C. SOME ARE NUMB TO POWERFUL FAITH, HAVING TRIED A FALSE FAITH, AND SAW IT DIDN’T WORK.
Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Believing in God does not only require saving faith—that’s just the beginning !
3. THE PAST THAT WAS FILLED WITH A LACK OF USEFULNESS TO GOD.
WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THINGS IN OUR PAST WHICH DID NOT PLEASE GOD.
Many try to justify their behavior by blaming parents, family, kids at school. Never forget that we have the power of choice within us. If we allowed them to move us in the wrong direction, it is because we failed to use what God gave to us. Many from abusive home lives turn out well. Many who have been bullied overcome this and become helpful and focused people.
Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
4. NOW REQUIRES A LOOK TO THE FUTURE BY FAITH.
A. MUST HAVE FAITH IN GOD’S DESIRE TO LIBERATE YOU.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
When Isaac left the past and decided to learn and move ahead, God blessed him.
Genesis 26:12-13 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
B. IF WE ARE ABLE—BY GOD’S POWER—TO OVERCOME DEMONS, WE CAN OVERCOME THE DEMONS OF THE PAST.
1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.