I am a man with many failures. I look back on the road I’ve travelled thus far and I see many things. Yes, I have feathers in my beautiful cap and adornments and accolades. Yet in the midst of that sweet journey lie various falls and injuries. The blood of my wounds paint the ground behind me red. My journey so far tastes like sweet orange eaten with its rind; that bittersweet taste.
Guilt weighs me down many times when I remember what I have done in the past and the people I have hurt with my indiscretion. I remember the hurt too and bitterness against those who have failed me wells up in my heart. Often times I respond by going to God in prayer, which is of course the best thing to do and the only solution, asking Him to cleanse me by His blood and help me in my struggle.
At other times however, the devil sees guilt and remembrance of hurts past as an avenue to push you far from God. I begin to question if I’m truly saved and if my deeds are forgiven, especially my failings after I gave my life to Christ. I begin to question if He really loves because I don’t feel the love at those times.
And the devil provides negative answers. Answers that drive me away from God and keep me in perpetual grief in burdensome and heavy yokes of guilt and wicked trappings of growing seeds of bitterness and dischord, breeding hatred and disgust for myself and my brethren.
The lies of the devil. Mysterious.
The greater mystery is that the Lord is the key and the door out of this and the devil will never allow us go to Him to be free from the darkness.
In His Word, He reminds me that although I can be perfect, it is not at the snap of my fingers. It is progressive. Yet I must press on. He tells me also that my guilt is nothing and must be removed from my own mind for in reality He has taken care of that issue. All I need do is come into the protection of Himself, rise up from my fears, my addictions, my pitfall and the sin that easily makes me fall. To rise up, dust myself and move forward. For there is a hope for a better place and a better and highest glory in Him, a hope that I cannot be ashamed of. That hope must stay alive in me and I must follow the Way.
Guilt is history, yet a present potent tool in the hands of the devil. An understanding of the Truth alone can bring us from its yoke. And this is the truth, a greater and conquering mystery:
Hebrews 10:19-23 AMP
Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
I just love that. And from there I just know I’m no longer subject to shrinking from God due to guilt of sins. I put it always in my consciousness that my life is not in the falling-down but in the getting-up. How I love the Word of God.
Having this assurance therefore, I pick myself up, dust off the past, and approach my Father, who is able to save me to the uttermost. I don’t look back anymore. I just keep going towards the Father. Because looking back is not a function of the Kingdom. Pressing forward is.
I take this promise of the Word, and take affirmative action. Yes. I don’t settle on the past. I don’t dwell on it. I don’t sit thinking about how things would have been had I or had I not. I don’t ogle the past. I don’t recapture the past. I don’t reevaluate. I don’t consider the past today. I don’t mentally reconstruct it. I don’t rationalise it.
I forget the past. I press on to perfection.
Pastor Paul speaks:
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
If you’re languishing in guilt over your past deeds or sins you’ve committed or your failings in your walk with Christ, keep thus in mind. Pick up yourself, and, forgetting the past, keep pressing on towards perfection.
God has got your back. And Christ has freed you from sin and the guilt of it. Live in that understanding.