Last night, we had a huge youth event at our church for our student ministry as well as a few other student ministries in our area. The main theme of the night was spiritual change. We all need to experience change, but that change must be a change that is grounded in God’s Word and is a work of the Holy Spirit. One of the things we must deal with when it comes to change, is dealing with our past. Many people cannot experience real change because they are chained to their past. That is the issue I spoke on last night. I shared a message about Biblical ways to move from your past. I want to share those thoughts with you in this blog.
First, we need to understand the Bible speaks on the issue of moving from your past. In Philippians 3:13, Paul says, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Paul had a past, a past of sin and hatred of Christians and the church. He could have very well let that past hold him back, but he chose to keep looking forward. Also, in Isaiah 43:18, the Bible says, ” Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” Israel had a past, a past of disobedience and sin, but God told them to move on from that and move forward into what He is currently doing. Erwin W. Lutzer says it best, “In Christ we can move out of our past into a meaningful present and a breathtaking future.” Just like Paul and Israel, we to must move forward into what God has for us and not be chained by our past sin, mistakes, or failures.
So what are some Biblical ways to move from your past? I’m glad you asked! Here are three Biblical ways to move from your past:
Cut off the sin from your past (Matthew 5:29, 30). Many people struggle with moving on from their past because they have failed to remove the sin of their past. Sin is a serious matter. Sin is something we must make war with on a daily basis. Moving on from your past requires you killing the sin from your past. John Owen said, “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.”
Forgive or ask forgiveness about things in your past (Matthew 5:23. 24). Another reason many people fail to move on from their past is because they have unresolved issues in their past. They may have wronged someone and failed to ask for their forgiveness. Or maybe someone has wronged them and they have failed to extend forgiveness. Either way, that unresolved issue is holding them back from moving forward. Bernard Meltzer says, “When you forgive you in no way change the past—but you sure do change the future.”
Teach others from your past (Psalm 51:13). I love verse 13 in Psalm 51. After David has confessed his sin and pleaded for God’s mercy, he makes a bold statement that he will teach sinners the right way. Because he has experienced failure and been forgiven from that failure, he can teach others from his own experience. It’s important that we understand an important part of moving on from our past is taking our past and using it as a testimony of God’s love, grace, mercy, and kindness.
These are just a few of the ways we can move from our past and move forward into what God has in store for us. We cannot change the past, but we can make sure to take Biblical steps in moving on from that past. I hope these simple thoughts help you as they have helped me many times.