Summary: Have you ever looked back on your life and thought – If I only knew then what I know now, I would have done a lot of things different? As I look back on my life I have a lot regrets, I done a lot of stupid things in my lifetime, and I made a lot of mistak
Don’t Look Back; Luke 9:62
Have you ever looked back on your life and thought – If I only knew then what I know now, I would have done a lot of things different? As I look back on my life I have a lot regrets, I done a lot of stupid things in my lifetime, and I made a lot of mistakes. I wish I could go back and change things, but I can’t, and maybe you feel the same way.
We have got to learn to let those things go and live for the Lord today. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” All regret does is waste the present. You can’t be useful to the Lord today if you’re feeling sorry about the past. God used our past to help us become the people we are today. He uses those past hurts, failures, and mistakes to strengthen us and to make us useful for today.
Harry Truman, “Men who live in the past remind me of a small wooden bird called the ‘Floogie Bird.’ Around the Floogie Bird’s neck is a label reading, ‘I fly backwards, I don’t care where I’m going. I just want to see where I’ve been.’”
Do you know why the past is called the past – because it’s past, it’s gone, you can’t live it today… But there are people that spend a lot of time looking back at their past; some with joy, some with regret. God doesn’t want us to live in the past, the past is past, we must live life today. If you want to truly experience the better life you’ve got to learn to live life today and take advantage of the opportunities you have today or tomorrow you’re going to regret today.
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about the past:
1. Don’t Look Back On Past Sins
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Psalms 103 says, “He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west.” And Isaiah 43:25 says, “He remembers them no more.”
But we can’t seem to forget our past sins. (Positive’s – remember from where God has brought us from - & negative’s – hinders our service, feel unworthy, the truth is we are unworthy to serve God but He is worthy to be served). Satan wants us to be overcome by our past. “How can God use me when I’ve been so sinful?”
Yes, some sins do keep us from certain aspects of the ministry. Yes, we were all at one time broken and useless to God, but He wants to mold us and make us useful once again. If we will surrender our lives to Him, like clay in the hands of the potter, He will mold us and make our lives into a beautiful vessel. Let Him have His way.
Don’t let your past sins hinder you from serving God. Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Video)
Our sins have been paid for by the precious blood of Christ and they are nailed to the cross.
Consider Charles Colson, the aide to Richard Nixon who was sent to jail for Watergate. As a result of his experience as a convicted felon, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, now the world’s largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families. Prison Fellowship has more than 50,000 volunteers working in hundreds of prisons in 88 countries around the world. A ministry that has blessed millions of people got started about 30 years ago because Charles Colson committed a crime. God’s eternal purposes for that man included even the sin that sent him to prison. It was a part of God’s plan from the very beginning. (Use your past to help minister to others).
2. Don’t Look Back On Past Defeats
We all have had some past defeats. We have all failed. We have all tried to accomplish something only to fall short. And sometimes because of our past defeats we feel miserable, alone, and worthless. I mean we look around and we can see people that have accomplished great things and had great successes and we wonder, “Why I am such a failure and they are such a success?”
The truth is successful people have failed just as much if not more, but they get back up and try again. Unsuccessful people are the ones who refuse to get up and that’s when they are defeated.