Let the past be the past! | Faith
by The Press and Standard | January 6, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: January 2, 2019 at 8:14 am
Happy New Year! The year of 2018 is history, and 2019 is a mystery. Therefore, let the past be the past!
Sometimes we hinder our blessings by looking backward. You cannot move forward if your head is always facing the rearview mirror. There are times when you will have to make reference to your past for one reason or another, but don’t get stuck there, singing your “Should-a, would-a, could-a’s!” It is hard to let go of the past, but progress will never be a reality if you don’t find a way to let go.
Look at this profound, encouraging advice from the Word about “letting go”: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV).
God will do a new thing for you if you just let go, and let God… He will make a way through all of your trials and tribulations. When you hold on to your past, you are telling God, “I can’t give you full trust.” It has to be all or none. You cannot be a part-time Christian, trusting God some of the time. God wants all of you.
Exodus 20:5 (ESV) says, “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.” Sometimes we try to fight our battles alone, but that is impossible. The battle belongs to God. The devil wants us to remain stuck in the mud, our past, but he is a liar. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44 ESV). The devil is real, so you better recognize that.
Remaining in the past is nothing except a trap. Look that old devil in the eye, and pull yourself out of his evil trap. The next time that you feel stuck in your past, read this anonymously written story about how birds let go. It makes a lot of sense, comparing our being stuck in the past to the birds stuck on a branch.
“In exactly the same way that birds have to find the courage to let go of a branch in order to actually fly, we must also let go of our emotional branches if we are to experience the exhilaration of soaring to our highest potential in life! The branches we hold on to are our innermost attachments: our beliefs, our bad habits and those memories which keep us stuck.
“And then there are the outer attachments: they are people, possessions, positions and privileges — to name but a few. We must be aware that as long as we hold onto them, we will actually live in fear (of letting go and loss), and we will never feel the freedom that we all deserve.
“Once you become aware of those birds and the initial courage they display when they let go of their branches just prior to flying, you will be capable of experiencing life in a totally different way. This can be your new recipe of how to live a life where you learn to let go of one branch at a time, and learn to have new experiences, one at a time.
“The birds have found that by letting go of one branch, they are then able to spend the rest of their lives trying many other branches, one branch at a time, and they can enjoy the view from each new vantage point. What a way to live!
“Are you actually flying and soaring in your life, or are you stuck on one branch, resenting others as they fly past? You can do it; go on and just try letting go! Remember this, not letting go of old stuff is the same as driving through life with a flat tire on our cars: not stopping to change it, hoping that it will fix itself, pretending that the ride is smooth, knowing that it isn’t, until one day it gets so loud and bumpy that we are forced to stop and take a look, and actually get help!”
Consequently, let the past be the past!
Have a blessed and prosperous New Year, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)