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Summary: Overcoming the past and moving forward in Christ.

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“The Enemy of the Past”

Forgiveness is a trait that all young people need to possess. Sometimes things of the past literally haunt us and change who we are and how we act.

Betrayal has become commonplace in today’s world.

With Girls/Guys and relationships

Broken Promises

1 Kings 8:20

20"GOD has done what he said he would do: I have succeeded David my father and ruled over Israel just as GOD promised; and now I’ve built a Temple to honor GOD, the God of Israel, God always keeps His promises.

People today want to share in the joys of your life and the riches and benefits of everything, but they abandon you when times get tough. You’ll really find who your true friends are who stick with you from thick and thin.

(Story of Mrs. Hamm – Kindergarten Teacher and Lottery)

Sometimes the truth hurts when you really begin to recognize the reality of betrayal. Betrayal is a hurt of a lot of peoples past. However, Hebrews 13 says something to you tonight:

Jesus Christ will never leave you, or forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Since God assured us, "I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," 6we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?

What about the past? For some people it is a reality that doesn’t want to be faced by anyone.

Tonight we need to realize that the past is a tool for us to grow in Christ, but we also need to move forward, because God is doing a new thing!

Isaiah 58:11-12

11I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-- firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. 12You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Sometimes, the past can be the largest hindrance in someone’s life. Some of you are getting this awful queasy feeling inside of your spirit, and that’s nothing more than serving as a reminder that this is in fact for you.

In order to move forward, we need to get past our past. EVERYONE SAY IT NOW, “GET PAST MY PAST.”

Past:

Failures

Mistakes

Regrets

Sadnesses

Disappointments

Setbacks

Defeats

Sins

For some people, these things are an enemy:

Enemy is defined as: Something destructive or injurious in its effects. For some of you, the past is an enemy that you have to fight each and everyday. My prayer for you tonight is that you move past it, and allow God to give you freedom over the enemy of the past.

Getting past all of these things tonight that hinder us, will cause us to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God. Tonight, I’m going to give you 4 thoughts to get rid of the enemy of the past:

1. Recognize the Reality of the Past

Some of us just want to deny that the events in the past have never happened.

II Samuel 12 – David had to face the facts.

We can’t run and hide from God. Adam and Eve tried to do that in Genesis 1 – no way.

For some of us, the past haunts us, because we refuse to recognize that it is in fact real.

“You can either run from it, or learn from it”

Some of the ugliest memories that we have are of our past. The enemy would seek to throw that stuff in our faces tonight and say how much that effects who we are and what we are now.

When the enemy reminds you of YOUR past, remind him of HIS future.

2 Samuel 12:13

13Then David confessed to Nathan, "I’ve sinned against GOD." Nathan pronounced, "Yes, but that’s not the last word. GOD forgives your sin. You won’t die for it.

David faced his past sin in his life.

If we want to fight and be set free from the enemy of the past, we need to realize the reality of it. The past is a series of true events.

2. Forgive Yourself

This is one of the hardest things to do.

The natural thing to want to do when problems arise, and things of the past begin to flare up is blame ourselves for these specific circumstances.

The suicide rates in the United States and world are so high, because young people can’t face the reality of the past, nor can they deal with the blame of it.

When things happen, the first thing we want to do is point the finger at ourselves.

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