Friday, June 2, 2023

Letting Go and Moving Forward Part 3

Friday, June 2, 2023 

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Letting Go and Moving Forward Part 3

We have been talking about how you cannot move forward without first letting go of the past. Not only do we need to let go of past mistakes, but there are also some bad habits or ways of life that we need to let go of as well before we can move forward into the life that God has planned for us. 

Let go of a lukewarm relationship with Christ.
That’s not what Jesus wants for you, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want that if they really knew what God had in store for them. Jesus wants us to be on fire for Him – loving Him and living for Him in every area of our lives.

Spend time in the Word and prayer. If you’ve never developed that habit, start today! If this seems impossible, start by spending five minutes reading in the New Testament and five minutes praying.

 Give up on half-hearted obedience to Jesus. Get past lip-service to life-service. Jesus says that if we love Him, we’ll obey Him, so let your life be a living testimony of your love for Him.

Strengthen your relationship with His bride – the Church.  Whatever it takes, turn the page on a lukewarm, mediocre relationship with Christ. 

Let go of un-forgiveness.

Some of you have been hurt. Some of you have been hurt badly. Others have just gotten their feelings hurt a little.  But in any case, you’re holding onto that, and you’ve refused to forgive that person from your heart.

Scripture says not to let the sun go down on your anger. Some of you have let years of suns go down on your anger.  We can turn those hurts over to our Heavenly Father and our anger too. We can be honest with Him – He wants to know it all. 

Does anybody honestly have the right to demand forgiveness from God? No one has that right and you don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness of others any more than you have the right to demand forgiveness for yourself.

Don’t let bitterness and un-forgiveness take root in your heart and rot your soul.  Bitterness is like an infection in your heart and soul. And who wants that stuff churning and coursing through them?  Nobody does. At least, no one should, and Scripture says we’re supposed to get rid of it.  When you choose to forgive and when you choose to drop the grudge, you are set free.  You may not think you can do it, because the hurt is too great. All I can tell you is that there are those who have had greater hurts than you who have been able to forgive.  They couldn’t do it, either.  Not in their own power.   They needed the help of God Almighty, so they asked Him for the strength to forgive just as Christ had forgiven them.  And He did.  Bitterness is a chain on your soul. Break the chain by asking God to help you turn the page on your un-forgiveness.

Let go of THAT sin.   

What do I mean by that?  I think that in many, if not most people, there is something they’ve struggled with, and maybe even given up on conquering. Maybe they even tell themselves it is okay. You know what that is for you.

Maybe it’s lying. Maybe it’s gossiping or breaking a confidence. Maybe it’s looking at that inappropriate material on the internet or TV or the DVD player. Maybe it’s just plain laziness, and not taking responsibility for what’s under your care. Whatever it is, you can start right now to make it a thing of the past.

Ask God to help you get a handle on whatever that is, and to get hold of any resources that might help you move on.  You don’t have to be a captive to it any longer. Paul says in Romans that in Christ we’re set free – that instead we can be slaves to righteousness.

…for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  I Timothy 4:8

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