Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” –Luke 9:62 ESV
For someone trying to let go of their past, this is a crushing scripture. It’s another thing on the pile of wrongs under which they are already suffocating. Jesus says that if we cannot let go of our past, we are not fit for His kingdom.
When you sin and are fully aware that you cannot do, pay, or apologize enough to make up for it, you feel condemned. Hopeless. To add this scripture to it, it seems to condemn you even further.
When your sin changes the way your life looks, changes who you are, it feels impossible to walk in grace. Every step you take has been molded by your sin. How can you let it go when every aspect of your life is a glaring reminder that nothing is or will ever be the same?
This is a very big concept to grasp, so I want you to really think about everything that I am about to show you. This is the moment-of-salvation under a microscope.
“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” –Jesus; John 8:31 ESV
The reason you are not experiencing freedom is because you either have not heard or do not believe the simplicity of the truth. The truth is very simple, but it has a very sharp way of shocking our sensibilities. It can be offensive to the core of ‘self’, if it is ‘self’ that you intend to keep in tact. (For the sake of a case study, I’ll leave the comments open. If you want to see the desperate fight of ‘self’ play out, just watch the comments. They may show up there.)
Here we go….
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV
I am going to be explicit even though I do not have the space in this blog to write a book. I know you will have a million questions and I might even be making you angry, but I will not back down from the Truth. Study the scriptures yourself. Think critically. Part of thinking critically is to examine the implications of what this blog is saying and determine what that means. Compare your determinations with scripture and let the thought process roll around in your brain for as long as it takes. I am about six years into this thought process and I am still processing.
With that said…
(Compare the following paragraph with the scripture above [Eph 1:11-14])
You have a pre-determined purpose that God gave you. He works out everything according to that purpose. Because of the nature of free-will and the mistakes we make with it, we have Jesus to make sure that our free-will never has the power to trump God’s will. When you believe the Truth, the Holy Spirit seals it within you. It is a guarantee, an absolute, and the sealed Truth within you is what you can chew on until the end when all of the missing puzzle pieces come together and answer the missing questions.
This leaves you completely dependant on Jesus and completely safe in the purpose of God. You do not have to fear, you do not have to worry. You do not have to stay down when you fall. You do not have to kick yourself for your failure or kick someone else out of panic or fear for their eternal future.
I will say, there are people who use the Truth as an excuse to sin and I am not talking about those people. The Truth sends you running in worship to the feet of your Creator. It does not equip you with the ability to live in the smoky side-streets of selfishness and decay. I can speak the Truth without dumbing it down for those who use it as a means for selfishness. That would be me letting the sin of others determine how I spin the Truth. That’s not something I will ever do. Besides, when God decides that their time with the pigs is finished, He’ll open their eyes and show them their filth and they’ll need a home to come running to. Wash the sheet in your guest rooms. Stock up on the Truth to wash their stench and make sure you have a warm robe to cover their shame. The Truth calls people home. Church, be ready to be that home.
I’m going to let you watch a conversation, based on the words I shared above, play out. I know this blog is long, but I’m on a roll….
The following is a conversation between a reader and me:
Reader: There are times in my life that SATAN gets in my head and tells me….”Your sins are too great!”
I get so caught up in MY SINS (past) reliving the shame, reliving the sorrow, reliving the anger, reliving the SIN…. and can’t seem to move forward.
Even with repentance, even with PRAYERS, and meditation and Bible study, my SINs haunts me………
and I feel insecure about EVERYTHING.
Satan is cunning and I know that HE is lurking there…. in my mind…. I know that in those DARK places….growth, real growth happens………. but I am growing tired of the battle.
(You think that is what God is waiting on…..my TRUE surrender?)”
Me: I hear what you’re saying. I’ve been there…
For the purpose of leading you to a thought process, I have a question for you:
- What have you learned from your failure?
Reader: What have I learned? That I stand in judgment of NO ONE…because I am as much a sinner as anyone else.
I learned that God’s love is the greatest HIGH ever. I felt it once so strong in me…surrounding me, that I felt “in HIS arms!” PURE LOVE! and I want that feeling every single day!
I learned that this life is full of stress, disappointments and at the end of the day, I know NOTHING! My hope rests in GOD taking over my life…
therefore, it all comes down to TRUST. Am I trusting enough the words that flow from my fingers……right here…right now… to KNOW that GOD HAS ALREADY GOT THIS! I just have to let go.
Me: What you have learned, through your failure, lines you up with scripture better than any Sunday school class could have. These scriptures have become a part of you. They are no longer something you try to do. See?…..
1) That I stand in judgment of NO ONE
- Luke 6:37
2) I learned that God’s love is the greatest HIGH ever.
- 1 John 4:8 & 16
3) I know NOTHING!
- 1 Corinthians 13:9
4) My hope rests in GOD taking over my life…
- Psalm 25:5 & Psalm 39:7
5) it all comes down to TRUST
- 2 Corinthians 1:9
6) to KNOW that GOD HAS ALREADY GOT THIS!
- Job 42:2
7) I just have to let go.
- Luke 9:62; Philippians 3:12-13
The key to understanding the magnitude of grace and the key to being able to let go of your past is to see that God is using your life experiences to mold you into who He created you to be. Your failures no longer have the power over you, they are used by God to teach you the things you need to know and equip you with the tools that you need for your God designed purpose. See your failure as a teaching tool, not as a flaw. Grace gives Life where there was supposed to be death. Grace gives failure a purpose. When you ask ‘why’, answer your own question with what you’ve learned.
The proof for what I am saying is in your own words/experience and it is backed by scripture:
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. -2 Corinthians 1:9
Remind yourself of this every time you try to look back over your shoulder to determine your future…..
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead… Philippians 3:12-13
Reader: Thank you for showing me HIS truth through the WORD. Your blog is a must read for me! Thank you for this ministry.
Don’t look back. It will only turn you into a ‘pillar of salt.’ Gather your lessons and move forward into the wide open spaces of freedom in grace.