Today’s Fresh Manna is written by my friend and co-worker – Julie Larson
I was minding my own business and getting ready for work this morning when out of nowhere, a painful flashback of something that happened when I was a teenager shot through my head. I haven’t thought about it in over twenty years. I was immediately racked with guilt and in a puddle of tears when I remembered the situation in vivid detail. The specifics of what it was don’t matter, but what does matter is what I do with those thoughts and memories from this point forward.
When I gave my life to the Lord, I clung to the promise of being forgiven of every bad thing I ever did and every person I ever hurt. I had a rap sheet that could probably circle the globe, but thank God He doesn’t keep a record of all those things! As the Bible says, the old me was gone for good when I became born again… and I became a new creature in Christ. There is a transformation that takes place in your heart and mind when you don’t just go through the motions of trying this Jesus thing on for size, but genuinely surrender your life to Him.
No one said once you turn from your old ways and trust in God to help you live your life for Him that your past just vanishes into thin air and is erased from your memory banks. We ALL have a past (some good, some bad, and some ugly), so we’re all going to have occasions to either let go of those memories or hang onto them when they come.
So, why is it important to let them go? For one, because there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. What’s done is done. There is no redeeming value in continuing to think about what you shoulda, woulda, coulda…! If you dwell in that place, it will only bring you down. The more you think about something, the more those ideas get ingrained and you begin to believe they’re true—even when they’re not! It will surely hold you back as those thoughts have a great potential to reshape who you believe you are from the inside out.
The enemy gains entrance into our lives by getting into our heads. If he can change how we think—about ourselves, about God, about others—he’s well on his way to steal, kill, and destroy anything in his path. When I get those flashbacks, or painful memories crop up, I never deny they happened. I pretty much have a face-off when I start to feel condemned. I’m like, “Yep, I did that. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb… and the word of my testimony!” He’d love nothing more than for you and I to be so consumed with thoughts and memories of mistakes we’ve made, and people we’ve hurt, because then we’ll lose sight of who we are IN CHRIST! In Christ, no matter what baggage you’ve carried around, you don’t have to continue having a victim mentality. You are victorious! You have power and authority over the works of the enemy. Outside of Him, you’re powerless. Don’t give the devil the power to derail your day… or your life!
I am a completely different person than I was back then. God knows it… I know it… anyone who knows me knows it. I don’t need to sit here and passively relive any pain from my past like it happened yesterday. I have the mind of Christ and I have control of my thought life!
All I can do from day to day is fill my heart with what God says about me, and thank Him for how He has changed me from the person I was yesterday into the person I am TODAY, and how He’s helping me be who I’ll be tomorrow! How are you going to reshape your today and tomorrow? What’s done is done!
Luke 10:19 ~ Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.
You can read more by Julie Larson at http://julielarson.me/
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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