Summary: Discusses how to move on from past sins and failures.
Identity Theft…Pick-pocketed by the Past
To defend ourselves from being pick-pocketed by the past we need to
Receive God’s love
Confess our sins
Receive God’s forgiveness
Accept God’s Purification
Obey God’s Ways
The Story of Dave
I want to begin this morning with a story about a man named Dave.
This is the story of a man who was a godly man. He was used by God in great ways.
He was someone who helped people when they were down.
He was someone who helped people against those who were trying to hurt them.
He was a man who walked by faith.
One weekend, he found himself home alone. HIs wife was gone for the weekend and the guys he worked with were away on business. He should have been off with them, but he was in a bit of a depression. His relationship with the Lord had not been that good for a while and didn’t feel like doing what he should have been doing in his job.
So he was home for the weekend and on the computer. He saw the wife of one of his buddies on Facebook. Her name was Beth and her husband was on the trip that Dave was supposed to be on. He started chatting with her and they were participating in some “innocent” flirting.
She was a bit scared to be home alone, so Dave went to check on things.
One thing led to another and they ended up having an affair.
Making it personal Question
Maybe you have never been involved in an affair, but have you ever done things in your life that seem to have been defining moments in a negative way in your life?
Things that keep you awake at night thinking if you had only acted different
Things that others won’t let you forget
Things that hold you hostage to that identity
Maybe it is an adulterous affair so now you are Joe, the Adulterer
Maybe it is a DUI you received and now you are Alice the Alcoholic
Maybe it is past drug use and all you hear in your head is that you are Scott the Addict
Maybe your history includes jail time and you feel like you will always be Rick the Felon
Maybe in your past you haven’t always acted they way you should or you have acted up when you shouldn’t be and you got labeled as a loser, a problem kid and now you can’t seem to shake that identity, Bill the loser, Jim – the kid nobody wants in their class, Tony – the class clown, or Dan – the “problem” child.
Now while our past may have included things that contributed to those labels, and
while we still face earthly consequences for sinful actions we have taken,
it is Satan who tries to steal the identity that we can have in Christ and tries to pickpocket us by the past -
By the past sins we have committed
“You can never be a good or godly person considering what you have done.”
By past actions we have taken
By the past identities that we have possessed
And he tries to keep us tied to that identity and away from the identity that God has created us to have in Him.
This could have easily happened to Dave just as it seems to happen to us so often, but it didn’t. I want to read to you what Dave wrote after he was eventually confronted by another friend about what he had done and he realized the wrongness of it.
Turn with me to Psalm 51.
The story I was telling is really a modern day version of the story of King David and Bathsheba.
King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah, her husband, killed.
After David sinned with Bathsheba, he did experience some difficult times, but he also went on to reign and rule Israel and see his kingdom continue in his son Solomon.
How did David overcome this terrible sin to go on to be known as David, “a man after God’s own heart” instead of David, a sinful king?
I believe that Psalm 51 gives us some insight into that. This is what he wrote after he was confronted by Nathan and helps give us some insight on how we might defend ourselves against being pick-pocketed by the past.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,