Jun 24, 2022 18:30pm
Remembering the Past

Just last night, memories started creeping through my mind. Memories of long ago that I want to stay in the past. Times that deep down I feel are best forgotten. I don’t look on them with longing or sadness, but with shame and humility. I pray, “Lord, take these memories from me!” I don’t want to remember those things I did and said. I don’t want to see who I was! That’s too hard to think about.

But as much as I would like to forget those things, and many others, every once in a while, another memory comes to mind and I get a glimpse of the girl I once was.

God doesn’t erase the past. Instead, He uses it to mold and shape us into the person He desires for us to be. One who is prepared to honor and serve Him. Those memories serve as a reminder of what and who I don’t want to be. I am not who I once was and I praise God for making that change in me.

Sometimes remembering the past is the best way to move forward into the future.

As we move into the book of Deuteronomy, we find the Israelites at the banks of the Jordan River with Canaan, the land God promised to them, in view. Moses gathers the people together and begins telling of the past.

He details how their fathers had started at Mount Sinai, where the law was given, and how time after time, they would disobey God.

“And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies. So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.” (Deuteronomy 1:42-43)

Why does God want Moses to go over all this again? Don’t the children of Israel remember what their fathers did? Don’t they remember the past? Why does he have to bring it up now? Why not just give them a good pep talk and go into the land?

Sometimes remembering the past is the best way to move forward into the future.

God wants to remind them of the past so they won’t make the same mistakes again. He promised them a land, flowing with milk and honey, and they were to be a people set apart for His glory. They were to shine brightly for Him. How could they do that if they fell into the same sins as their fathers? 

Although memories can be hard to face, God can use them to give us a better future. One that glorifies Him and not sin.

Today, are you struggling with the past? Are you holding on to something that once was and need to let go? Are you overwhelmed by the scars left behind?

God is doing something great. If we are but willing to trust, keeping our eyes on Him, and surrender our will, He is faithful to bring about something beautiful. While it’s good to be reminded of where we were to see where we are now, to see what we’ve overcome, God doesn’t want us to dwell on it.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)

God is in control and He will prevail. He makes a way in the darkness! His light shines for all to see! It may reveal things we thought were hidden, but it’s only for our benefit in order to move forward!

Let’s go!

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