Powerdigm: Forgetting the Past

(This is an ongoing series on “powerful paradigms” that hold the potential to transform your life.)

This past year, God has been teaching my wife and I a lot about our identity in Christ. Who we are in Christ remains constant–independent of our circumstances, our successes, and our failures. We’ve both seen the power and freedom of living out that identity. It’s what allows us to remain joyful and hope-filled in the missed of circumstances that would otherwise be depressing and overwhelming.

But sometimes I mess up. As I’m learning to live out my identity in Christ, I sometimes forget. I forget who I am and what God says about me, and I give ear to the enemy’s lies instead. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Yes, I’ve messed up. More than I like.

But through it, I’ve seen something powerful–I’ve seen the power of getting up again.

You see, when we’re down, the enemy likes to whisper lies in our ear. “Look at how you failed! How can you actually be made new in Christ if you act like this? How can you call yourself a man/woman of God? You don’t deserve grace. You’re never going to actually live out who God wants you to be!”

But our victory comes when we choose to say, “No. I’m not going to listen to the enemy. I’m going to get up again. I’m going to simply believe what God says about me–not because it feels true right now, but just because He said it!” We have to choose to not let what we’ve done stop us–we must come back to Christ and who He is and what He’s done. Yes, this does mean I apologize–it’s not that the devil made me do it! I made a choice to listen to his lies, and I have to take responsibility for that and repent. It doesn’t mean that I have license to sin. But neither does it change my permission to simply return to living in my identity in Christ–that He sees me as righteous, that He’s made me a new creation, and that I can live to please Him.

Paul makes this clear in Philippians. He writes, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In fact, he further instructs us, “Let those of us who are mature think this way.”

We’ve all made mistakes. Sometimes God asks us to go back and restore what’s been broken, repent of ways that we’ve sinned, and repay what we’ve stolen. But He’s also given us permission to move forward–to not live under the weight of regret but to live with the fullness of who He says we are!

So press on! Be willing to forget the past, to let go of your regrets, so that you can press on to the fullness of what God has ahead!

For the King!

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