It struck me as I read Numbers 3–God instructed the children of Israel to drive out all (emphasis mine) the inhabitants of the land that Israel would not be facing the problems she is today. Instead, she chose to make covenants or alliances with some of the inhabitants. God said that those alliances would be “as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land in which you live (vs 55).” Their disobedience created problems that span the centuries even to today.
If we had been obedient in our own past we would not be facing the problems we do today. But God’s promise is to deliver us from our sins of the past through the blood of Jesus Christ. We get a fresh start!
So quit wallowing in the sins and failures of your past. Spell those things O-V-E-R.
Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13b, 14)
When we first came to Arkansas, we found the people in the church to which we’d been called were struggling with their past failures, and I preached the same basic message from Philippians 3:13, 14 for over a year. Even to this day it seems to be my life message both here and in Peru. I believe I’ll be preaching–and living–these verses for the rest of my life.
Thank you, Jesus, for taking my sins to the cross, and delivering me from my past. In you my past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. In you I’m a part of the fellowship of the redeemed!