Run from your past (slide 1)
You can try to distance yourself from your past.
Put as much real estate from it as you can.
Perhaps by moving to another city
You can try to convince yourself that it did not happen.
I just don’t want to deal with it attitude.
If you don’t deal with your past, your past will deal with you. Over and over again, having you continually get close to people only to RUN once it gets uncomfortable or “too close”
Past hurt causes pain (Slide 2)
Pain left unchecked or not dealt with causes hurt
Hurting people, hurt people
We see it every single day do we not?
Our culture is full of people saying the meanest, craziest things to one another. Christians are doing it as well!
Sometimes I have even found myself saying hurtful things! Why? Because pain left unchecked will undoubtedly produce pain. Like Mr T said “I predict pain”
Hide from your past (Slide 3)
You can try to stuff it down deep so that it doesn’t effect you.
Isolate yourself from others so that you don’t get hurt again.
Set up barriers and protective mechanisms to ensure you don’t experience that ugliness ever again.
Past disappointment causes blame (Slide 4)
Blame left unchecked causes pain
…and uh oh here we are again! Back to Mr T!
Every single one of us has lived through disappointment.
Each of us has been disappointed
And each of us has disappointed people
Why in the world do we not understand this and deal with the pain of disappointment?
Because it is easier to hide under the bridge where you don’t have to deal with people and the pain of their disappointment.
You can emotionally begin to live “under the bridge” – it was under the bridge where I first experienced “the lie” and it was under the bridge where I stayed.
A sneak attack came on my identity and it subdued me. It came so quickly and in a way that was so subvert. It didn’t come from a stranger. It did not come from someone I didn’t respect. It came from someone I very much loved and looked up to. And this person NEVER said it thinking they were hurting me, in fact I know that the words spoken were said for the exact opposite thing to occur. For me to learn.
Listen to them again, phrased differently:
“Give me that, you are doing it wrong.”
But that is not what I heard or how I heard it. And for many of us, the intentions of others are less impactful then the actions of others.
And so it was that I remained locked in the past, under the bridge, slowly becoming emotionally isolated. Oh it didn’t take full root that day under the bridge but that is where the seed was planted and if left unchecked…that is exactly where it was going to grow.
And grow it did.
Running and Hiding from your past leads to settling. (Slide 5)
Let’s talk about this word, settling, and why it is so important. And why I believe it is the heart of todays message.
We were not made to settle in life.
Well it’s just something I have to deal with.
Life is not the best but it’s ok.
My marriage is ok, but it could be worse.
My job…ehh..it’s a job
I understand everything in life is NOT going to be great all the time, we will have trials, we will have persecution,…but we do not settle.
We were made to be active participants in the victorious life found in Jesus Christ. Victorious means we are constantly taking ground. Constantly pursuing. Consistently moving forward and onward into the greater things God has prepared for us. And oh the good things God has prepared for those who love Him and call Him Lord.
Numbers 32:5 (NKJV)
These two tribes are asking to settle short of the promised land. Short of what God says is the best for them. Just across the Jordan, not quite in the PL but almost. Moses has to remind them of that their fathers did the same thing…they settled. In fact, they wanted to go back. Back to the past. To the place where they were beaten, abused, discouraged, and in slavery, NOT free! The Israelites who experienced so much blessing from God actually wanted to return to their old life!
Past failures can cause shame (Slide 6)
Shame fuels the engine of relapse
Shame leads to more failure
We can easily become slaves to our past.
It is what we know or perhaps all we know.
It is what we are comfortable with.
From alcohol to pornography to food addiction, we fail and shame is always there to remind us of how much we suck!
But God has more for you. He wants to free you from your past, live in your present, and move you to your future! He is NOT there to tell you how horrible you are or how that is the 77th time you have done that, when are you going to just stop!
God is always there offering freedom. He is there, extending mercy and grace. He is there to offer hope. He is there call you out of that addiction, out of that thing that you have been wrestling with for so long! He is there!
How do we get out from under the bridge?
Allow Jesus and Holy Spirit to do these 2 things:
Identify the lie (Slide 7)
2 Cor. 12:9 (NKJV)
“My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
Confess your weakness that you might possess His strength!
Acknowledge and release (slide 8)
It is ok to acknowledge the past for what it is…the past! It is what happened. That does not mean it is what God has for your entire life!
When it comes to the Past:
Hold on to those God moments (joy peace life giving moments identity building moments – good and bad, destiny builders)
Release the moments that have caused pain, disappointment, or shame to the covering of the Holy Spirit and what He says about those moments.
Release the control that the past has on determining your future (Slide 9)
God is the one who speaks on that
Redefine the Truth (Slide 10)
Joshua 1:2-9 (NJKV)
“Go over the Jordan to the land which I am giving you” v2
“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” v3
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.”v5
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” v9
Jesus said that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, but rather He is with us to the end of this age.
Either He is telling the truth or He is a liar.
Listen and Act (Slide 11)
Take time to listen to Jesus and Holy Spirit then act upon those words
And at 35 years old He answered this question, “Where was Jesus?” In the midst of me experiencing such crazy isolation, hurt, pain, gender confusion, anger, mistrust of authority all through being sexually abused…Where was He?
You know what He did?
He took me to that day when I was fishing under the bridge. He allowed me to see Him crying over my hurt in that exact moment and in the most reassuring and loving way He said “What happened, happened.”
Then He showed me that day when I was 5 He was there, then when I was 7 under the bridge, He was there, then when I was 10 at church and I gave my life to Him (He was there), and 10 again in the room where I was abused (He was there), and in every single moment of my life, good and bad like a flip book He showed me that He was there.
He said I didn’t do it, but I was there and that He was going to make sure that I knew that He called me at age 5, and for those He calls, He cares for, and I would realize the purpose and plan He had and has for my life.
Then He took me back to the bridge and I felt I had been carrying the lie of “I am not good enough” my entire life. And the lie had spread to “they won’t love you if they really know you…”
And Jesus standing up on top of that bridge and me at 35 but still 7 years old simply said “It’s time to go.”
For many of you in this room, I know that Jesus is saying the exact same thing. You have been carrying this too long! The hurt you feel. The pain you feel. The disappointment you feel. The anger. The resentment. The bitterness. The shame.
It’s time to go.
Your past is your past.
Absolutely no doubt about that. We recognize that and we choose to give it to God today. No more carrying it around.
It is time to let God speak and breathe true freedom into your future!