I wasn’t born in a house with a garage. I was born in a house next to an alley that more often than not reeked of urine. My parents were never married. I didn’t grow up attending church every Sunday. Actuality, I remember my closest thing to attending church on the regular basis was Chapel on Wednesdays at my school. My parents never went to college. I grew up wondering what love was and allowing a spirit of rebelliousness to persuade me into partaking in almost every troubling situation that came my way. And yes, by the world’s standards my life was supposed to be another “statistic”. It was nothing but the grace of God that I wasn’t swallowed by the streets of Philadelphia or by the world as a whole. If it were up to past circumstances I would still be caught in the trachea of my hometown, the memories of my sins, and the curses chained to the sins of my ancestors. The torture and bondage of sin is like tumbling back and forth from the constant peristalsis of the esophagus until you are emptied into the worst of things, hydrochloric acid found in the stomach (or the pit of all damnation– Hell).
Everything stated in the last paragraph was to highlight that although there are adversities in my past, I am working to no longer allow myself to be defined by those circumstances. None of these past experiences determine my current and furthermore my future status in the Lord. If an issue arises in my life nothing ….I mean NOTHING….in my past is legitimate enough to be an excuse. God can change the rules of the world. When the world says ,”NO” God has the ability to say, “YES.” And when asked,”How?” He can simply answer, “Because I said so.” I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t follow the law or respect those who have authority but certainly recognize He who is REALLY in charge. Past hardships and misfortunes should not cause a gap in the life of a Christian. When has God ever declared a person crippled and thus unable to complete His tasks because of something in their past? Better yet, when has God not been able to effectively heal the crippled? Usually when we label those disabled it is by our own standards. I mean, by the standards of the world.
Consider those who are legally blind. You ever think that they aren’t as disadvantaged as we sometimes think? What if God has already shown them the beautiful things of this world before birth? What if they know EXACTLY the things we refer to but cannot find a similarity because we ineffectively describe something bigger than words? For every disadvantage God makes an advantage. In (Exodus 4:10) God didn’t tell Moses to be discouraged because of a speech impediment! God told Moses to get up and lead!!! God even instructed Aaron to assist Moses not because Moses was unable to complete the assignment but because God is just that generous. I don’t feel the need to feel regret concerning those who are deaf. They aren’t some type of faulty beings. I am sure deaf Christians can hear from the Lord just as clearly as those who aren’t. And is that not the most critical and respected type of hearing? What is the point of having physical eyes and not being able to see spiritually? Or having physical ears without being able to hear spiritually? God doesn’t make mistakes and nothing can happen unless God first signs His initials on the dotted line.
We should not pity ourselves nor should we want to be pitied by others. I won’t allow the fact that my parents never went to college to be a reason to believe that I cannot receive a degree. I won’t allow the past sins I have engaged in to detour my ability to fully serve the Lord. I won’t allow my past misconceptions about love to determine how I love others. Even as I love, I pray to always love with the love of Christ. I won’t even allow my old passion for medicine to modify the pursuit of happiness in any career God has for me. And ultimately, I won’t allow the lies of the enemy in the past to steal the joy, prosperity, and dominance given to me by the Lord. Haven’t you heard? The past is gone and the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17) !
Last week I sat in my two and a half hour Health Psychology class and we somehow got on the subject of Human Anatomy and Physiology. I was answering questions about topics that I forgot I had even learned. I was having so much fun. So much fun that I began to miss when I was always surrounded by the sciences. I began to miss when I was majoring in Biology aspiring to become a Dermatologist. I began to miss the medical conferences. I thought I was beginning to miss the past. For those who have not read my post, I am Going To Be A Dermatologist; God is the source concerning why I am no longer majoring in Biology and He is the reason why I now realize that my life is not my own, including my dreams and aspirations. I had to snap out of my reminiscing session. As I reflect on times spent with my old “friends” and partying habits—I sometimes feel like I am missing out on fun since coming to know the Lord. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! I know for a fact that I was previously admiring sin, flirting with death, and asking to go on dates with the devil so WHY would any of that appear favorable in my new eyes? Because more of my flesh has to die while I concentrate on bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) .God made it clear: You don’t know what I know. I took you from that place for a reason. Now if you want to return to your own vomit, that is on you (Proverbs 26:11). But let me make it clear–I am the way and the truth and the light (John 14:6). Find refuge in Me and don’t be fooled (Psalm 31:4). Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
I would be a fool to try and go against His system.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV): “13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Luke 9:62 (NIV): “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Haggai 2:9 (NIV): ” The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, ‘says the Lord Almighty. ‘ And in the place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
It wasn’t until I found solitude in Christ that I began to realize how much of a pity party I would sometimes have. I was so focused on the past that I was ungrateful for the present. Thankfully, I soon became conscious of the fact that nothing is more dead than the past and Matthew 22:32 (NIV) states, “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Don’t identify with the past if the Lord has you in a different place in the present. Do we not trust His judgment?
Genesis 19 (NIV):
Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar).
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Whatever your past may be overrun with– let it go. As cliché as it may sound, the present is here for a reason. Don’t have selective memory trying to forget past sins and mistakes but wanting to hold on to the remembrance of money, fame, and old relationships. I believe God has a special place for righteous memories, missing loved ones, and encouraging events. However, I also believe that if we have our focus on God this aspect of our lives will be settled accordingly. Nothing will be able to grip our attention and primarily our mind to a point where we ignore what He is doing in our lives currently. I don’t want to be defined by my past years spent shaped in iniquity but rather by my current and future position in the Lord. Thank you God for the willingness to change and perfect my trajectory. Thank You.