Don’t you just love it when God plants a seed in your mind and then keeps watering it until it finally digs roots and starts to grow! That’s what happened to me over the last week and I’m very thankful for it!
As I wrote last month in my Freedom From The Past post, I struggle with issues from bad choices I made in my past. Just when I think I’ve moved on a little bit more, something will crop up to sabotage my progress and I slip back again; punishing myself for things that I cannot change now. But this last weekend God planted a seed in me, which has actually taken root, and rather quickly too, so He can grow within me the means to deal with my past better.
The first message came via Bishop TD Jakes about being “Stuck in the Wilderness”. He talked about how the Israelites were freed from Egypt but it took them 40 years to get out of the wilderness and move on in their lives. He explained how the wilderness for the New Testament believer is the mind, which is a dry place that tends to resist growth, lacks irrigation and is full of tumbleweeds. He went on to say how our memories are blowing through our minds like tumbleweeds, and that we must go through these past experiences to go from salvation to liberation. We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. He then asked two pertinent questions; how can a person be saved yet still stuck in the wilderness? And, how can a person be a victim inside their own head?
The second message, once again about the Israelites, came from Joyce Meyer in her book “Battlefield of the Mind” where she discusses wilderness mentalities. She talks about how “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.” – Deuteronomy 1:6. She goes onto say how we shouldn’t look on the Israelites with astonishment for this behaviour (it took them 40 years to travel an 11 day journey) as we do exactly the same thing. Basically, the lesson is that “You have dwelt long enough on the same mountain; it is time to move on.” I have to say that I am tired of being on this mountain called my past and I so want to move on, and now, it seems thanks to God’s grace, it’s time to deal with it and do it!
The third message came on Monday morning when I sat down at my desk at work and turned the page over on my perpetual calendar – “365 Days of Wisdom for Busy Women” – and discovered this quote: “A new life begins for us with every second. Let us go forward joyously to meet it. We must press on, whether we will or no, and we shall walk better with our eyes before us than with them ever cast behind.” – Unknown. I like the last sentence where it says that “we shall walk better with our eyes before us than with them ever cast behind.” How true is that! God’s message; not just once, but three times over!
So, being that the time was obviously right for me to deal with this issue, the question I asked myself was why do I keep myself up on the mountain called my past and remain stuck in the wilderness? Why, after being saved and baptised, having knowledge of His Word, fellowship with my church family and other Christians, do I still dwell on 'lost Paula'? Is it because I don’t have enough faith in God? Is it because I feel the opinion of man is greater than what God thinks of me? Is it because I am not loved enough? I know the answers to all these questions, and particularly the most important question; why is it that I cannot love myself enough to get out of my wilderness?
Since pondering all these things and my questions, I have done some more reading of “Battlefield of the Mind”, which has led me to this - I must forget what is behind me and press on toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13). I need to move on from my past and that means the good and the bad from it. They both happened for a reason and all I can do is learn from them and leave them where they should be; behind me. Isaiah 43:18 tells us to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” How much more simply do I need to be told before I must get it! Joyce Meyer goes on to tell us that we must stop looking back and start looking at Jesus. We must see through an eye of faith. There, in a nutshell, is the answer!
God is at the helm in my life, and my life story was written out long before I even arrived here on earth, so I need to pray to Him to help me to move on from my past, and move on now! I need to see life with an eye of faith and focus my attention on Jesus. Faith in Him is the only means to getting down off my mountain and being lead out of the wilderness so that I can love me for me and move on and undertake all that God intends for me to do.
Thank you, dear Lord, for planting the seed in me that has helped me to learn this valuable lesson. Thank you for sending these messages to me, and not just once, but numerous times, to equip me with the means to an end; the means to forgive myself and move on from my past. Thank you for giving me your Word, and sending Jesus to cleanse me of all the bad things I did in my past. In Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen.