Fully letting go of my past – namely the mistakes – is an issue that has cropped up for me from time to time. During my Bible reading last week God led me to some very poignant scripture that has helped me to put some of my past burdens to rest. The scripture has also helped me deal with letting go of things that others in my life have also done.
Aside from the enemy and his constant battle win us over, I’d say that our next greatest enemy is ourselves, but only if we let it be that way. I have suffered from shame, guilt, insecurity, low self-esteem and the like, and all because of not being able to become free of my past. Even in my walk with God I’ve struggled with this, but God told me the following during my Bible reading, and it’s helped to change me and my way of thinking –
“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” – Isaiah 44:22
What beautiful words and what spectacular imagery! All my offenses and sins just disappearing into thin air! How wonderful! As I read, and re-read, these words, I felt it actually happening. I visualised myself standing outside in my front yard, and all my hurt and shame being taken from me and lifted up into the sky. Just amazing! God was telling me that it’s all OK Paula, that He’s wiped away my shame, guilt, insecurity and low self-esteem and that He’s now redeemed me.
I then found this next verse, and as I read it I could hear a voice saying “…her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins.” – Isaiah 40:2b.
I checked my NIV Study Bible notes and found this to mean – “…by enduring the punishment of captivity (see Leviticus 26:41)” and also “full (or enough) punishment (cf. the double calamities of Isaiah 51:19)”.
I took this as another word from God. My past has held me captive for too long, I have been punished enough for my sins, and now I’m free. Basically, I’ve done my time for the bad choices in my past, and have the results to show for it, so now it’s time to leave my past where it is, take what I have with me and move forward.
I have my daily reminders of my bad choices, but I also have God with me who loves me unconditionally and more than anyone on earth will ever do, and who will take care of me. He knows what is in store for me, and from where I’m sitting right now it’s looking pretty fantastic! I have no idea of His ultimate plan for me, but I feel that whatever it is, it’s going to be exciting.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
I am very thankful that God led me to the book of Isaiah and these life changing verses, and I am thankful that the burden of my past has been eased. I love it when God speaks through His word, and especially when the discovery is during an impromptu moment of reading the Bible.