Bible Study: How to Overcome the Past and Move Ahead!
Written by Christi Given | September 11, 2014
Recently, I have been asked by some PI Girls about how to deal with different struggles, sins and issues. In order to get out of the lies, bondage and temptation of sin, we MUST let go of the past and move ahead! There is nothing more that Satan wants than for us to be trapped by condemnation, guilt and shame.
First, we need to accept what God did for us by sending Jesus to die for us on the cross so that we can have a relationship with God, and so we can be healed of our past and cleaned of our sins. Without payment of sins, it leads to death. We need to be resurrected not only after this life, but in this life—we need hope, joy, peace, wholeness and renewal. We need Jesus to have new life. Jesus mentions this in John 14 (I am the way, the truth, and the life…).
…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13)
Second, we need to realize that once we repent (not just apologize and say sorry, but physically turn from the sin with God’s help and the Holy Spirit), then we need to not walk in condemnation (John 3:17). We need correct thinking. If we GENUINELY repent from the depths our hearts, then we are not continually walking in the same detrimental habits, sins, pleasures. We will have a NEW heart, and will be renewed by the Word of God in our minds.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Right thinking produces right living—so if you think correct thoughts (Truth verses the lies of the world), then you will be able to live out your faith. Without the Bible or the Word daily (our daily bread), how can anyone expect to walk in obedience? That is like trying to expect someone to run a marathon without water or food. Don’t be spiritually malnourished! If you don’t want to read the Bible every day, read a devotion, then pick a chapter or book a month. It is impossible to live a life of faith without depending on the Lord and the Holy Spirit to help, comfort and guide us. We CAN’T do it alone. Remember, Jesus came to set us FREE from sin, bondage and guilt—He came to give us abundance! (John 10:10)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We also need to think of the wonderful, exciting future God has for us as children of God! (Jeremiah 29:11)If we dwell on the past, we will not add to our day, but only harm ourselves with rehearsing the curse. Just accept you made mistakes (we all have), genuinely repent and move ahead, amen? The Bible says to strive for the prize; focus on Jesus and the Kingdom of heaven, not on the things that are passing away (Hebrews 12:2). We only have one life to live—don’t waste it on things you can’t change. The only things you can change are your behavior and choices today.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2)
God is SO good, though, isn’t He? He forgives and forgives and forgives…and NEVER gives up on us! His love is overwhelming…I love God so much. Jesus died for me? For all my foolish sins He didn’t even commit? Makes me think of the song, “Amazing love, how can this be? That YOU, MY KING, would die for me?” What a scandalous, infinite love that nothing can touch! Jesus LOVES you so much. Even if you roll your eyes reading this and think, “I’m not a church girl or goody-goody”—it doesn’t matter what you say, GOD still loves you, pursues you, chases you when you rebel in your heart…He loves you more than any human ever could.
Just stop and think for a moment…God made the beautiful, majestic stars in the sky and HE LOVES YOU MORE than the billions of stars in the galaxies, skies and around the atmosphere. Our human minds cannot fathom or conceive what kind of love our God has for us. There is one true God, and that God (of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) LOVES and delights in YOU!
“They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23)
Remember, if we were all perfect or without sin, we wouldn’t need a Savior. We need to realize the cross is enough. The blood of Jesus paid the price of sin and death, it says in the Holy Bible. Do you know there is life in our blood? Blood represents life—that is why Jesus had to shed His blood as a sacrificial lamb. In the Jewish customs, you were to bring a sacrifice to God; Christ is the ultimate sacrifice. It says in the Bible your sins are as scarlet (red), and God makes them white as snow! We are undeserving, but God is LOVE—we can’t handle that He would just wipe our slates clean and forget our iniquities—just like that! Why would He do that? Because He is our Father and wants us to be in relationship and right standing with Him. Amen?
Many people believe in God, but that is not enough…you MUST be born again (spiritually) and you MUST confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 3)…we cannot stand before a living HOLY God on judgment day without payment for a life of sins (even if a nice person—still not Holy enough before Almighty God). Instead, Jesus steps in and takes our place (He is our defender on judgment day, like our attorney and He will take our place). He is the sacrificial lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), if that makes sense. God will see Christ instead of us on the Day of Judgment (1 Peter 1:18-19).Wow, what a beloved, precious, generous gift! We are indebted to God! He loves us so much!
If you are on the fence about becoming a believer, pray and believe first in God our Heavenly Father, then Jesus as the Messiah. Then I ask you to receive the Holy Spirit, which is going to bear witness to you.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:16)
Simply pray, “God, I ask you to come into my heart and be Lord of my life. Jesus, I believe you died on the cross at Calvary and rose again on the third day (proving you were the Son of God, the Lord incarnate) for my sins, and I want to know you more, walk in your ways and honor you all the days of my life. Help me to understand your Word and to help other people in need, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.”
Six Tips: How to Leave the Past Behind and Move Into the Future God Has for You
1. Accept Jesus as Lord and savior: We can’t have a relationship with God without the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross for you and me. All we need is faith (to believe the promises God has for us) that God wants to bless our lives! (John 3)
2. Correct wrong thinking with the Word of God (the Bible): Don’t live in the lies of shame, guilt, fear, condemnation—Satan is the Father of Lies and wants us to be trapped in sin and the addictions of unrighteousness.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
3. Accept you are a new creation: After you accept Jesus as your Savior and the Lord of your life, and as the Son of God (awaited Messiah as prophesied, and spoken about in the Bible), you are spiritually renewed and the Holy Spirit comes inside of you. You are a new creature in Christ when you say the sinner’s prayer.
For Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)
4. Don’t dwell on the past: Unless you are thanking God for His blessings and reflecting on the memorial stones in your life of God’s goodness, it usually doesn’t help to worry and fret about the past. What is done is done, what is history is history. We need to accept this and realize we have a hope and future in Christ. Don’t belittle what Jesus did on the cross. We want to walk in faith. It is impossible to please God without faith, it says in the Bible (Hebrews 11:6), so brush the dirt off your shoulders and trek ahead! Amen?
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
5. Remember Jesus paid it all: When Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary, the last three words He spoke before His spirit ascended into heaven were “IT IS FINISHED.” What tremendous, powerful words these are! It means what it says—it is done, it is complete and it is finished! We don’t need to keep talking about the past; it is signed, sealed and delivered! The blood of Jesus covers us from all of our filthy rags and unrighteous sins. There is power in the blood of Jesus! After Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, He proved He was the Son of God and that He has the power to give life and to rise up, and tear down. Do you believe Jesus is the Messiah or the King of Kings (the Savior of the world)?
6. Be excited and expectant for the future: The Bible says no eye has seen, heard or can even fathom what God has in store for the children of God who love and obey Him (1 Corinthians 2:9)…wow, how neat! Do you know once you surrender your life and walk with God, things can be difficult, but overall things are better in life. God always supplies for you, cares for you and does BEYOND what you can imagine!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
PI Girls, can you share some ways in which God has blown you away in a positive way after you turned back to Him? Comment below!