May 28, 2009 
Getting Past Your Past 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Ephesians 1:7 “He (God) is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven” (NLT).

Friend to Friend 
One of the key factors in my ongoing battle with clinical depression is dealing with and letting go of past sin and pain.  The shadows of yesterday can so easily become the dark clouds of today.  In order to deal with depression and the darkness life can hold, we must deal with sin – first, in a personal relationship with Christ and then on a daily basis as a believer.

Every believer has two problems when it comes to dealing with sin.  First, we must confess sin.  I know it sounds simple but so many of us have lost our sensitivity to sin because we are aligned with the world instead of with God.  The mark of a believer growing in grace is sensitivity to sin.  When I was a little girl, I rarely wore shoes.  But when the first day of summer came along, I would kick off my shoes and store them in my closet – wearing them only when absolutely necessary.  Even now, I can remember the painful sensations of playing on the gravel road beside our house.  The sharp rocks cut and bruised my tender feet – at first - but by summer’s end, my feet were rough and calloused.  I could run, jump and play for hours on the rocks that had once caused so much pain. 

Sin is much the same.  The first time we commit a sin, it breaks our heart, but the next time we commit that same sin, it doesn’t seem quite as bad.  Our heart becomes calloused to that sin we repeatedly commit and a foothold is formed, making a place for depression and darkness to reside. We must confess sin completely, confidently and continually.  Jesus is faithful and will keep His promise to forgive and to cleanse us from all sin. 

Psalm 103:12 (NIV) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

The second problem we have with sin is forgetting forgiven sin.  Is it even possible to experience true forgiveness?  While we can’t totally blot out a memory, we can make sure it’s no longer a live issue in our lives.  God’s way seems too easy – to just ask and receive.  We act as if the Holy Spirit needs our help or as if what Jesus did on the cross was not enough.  We feel like we must make additional payments for our sin by doing something when Micah 7:19 is clear about God’s attitude toward our sin, “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean” (NLT). The problem comes when we revisit confessed sin, when we “go fishing” in the waters of our past. 

Sometimes, the core of clinical depression or any pit in life is riddled with sin we have never acknowledged or dealt with.  Guilt and shame surround each transgression and since condemnation seems like the logical solution, we allow the darkness to consume us as payment for each sin.  An important part of the battle with the darkness of depression is the deliberate choice to face and deal with sin.

Let’s Pray 
Father, I am so tired of trying to live today while carrying the baggage of my past.   Please give me the courage to face the sins I have tried so hard to bury.  Help me to turn away from each one, leaving it in Your hands.  Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, Your mercy and Your love.   Please fill my heart with the light of Your forgiveness. 

In Jesus’ name, 
Amen. 

Now it’s Your Turn 
Victory over the past requires action on your part.  You must be willing to take several steps in faith and obedience.  

  1. I understand that forgiveness requires repentance.
  2. I choose to confront and turn from the sin in my life.
  3. I am willing to destroy any paths that might lead to that same sin.
  4. I trust God for the power to practice repentance and praise Him for the forgiveness He offers.
  5. I choose to walk in God’s promise found in Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.“

More from the Girlfriends 
Today’s devotion can and will change your life if you apply it personally.  You don’t have to understand it all to have it all, girlfriend.  Accept His love.  Surrender the pain and sin of your past to His forgiveness and healing power.  Come to Him just as you are.  If you made that decision today, we would love to hear from you so we can pray for you as you begin your new journey with God. 

Mary’s CD, How to Get Past Your Past, will encourage you as she shares her own personal story of victory over the pain and grip of the past in her life.  And be sure to check out her weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey. 

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