Monday, September 3, 2012

Free Yourself From Yesterday And Find Peace Today

With a humble heart, we can go to Christ at anytime and He is there to turn a ear to our heart. In brokenness we ask Him to forgive us of our sins.  This is not something that is a maybe under certain conditions. This is a promise from our Savior. Forgive is exactly what He does. He removes our sin  from His memory, never to be remembered again.  With this grace covered love we can move forward in hope and with a pure heart.

Jesus isn't there to dredge up every sin each time we falter, but isn't that exactly what we do to ourselves and others? Oh, how we love to keep score. And remember? We seem to forget many things, where we left our keys, what date the doctor's appointment is, and the list goes on, but we keep those sins right there in our minds. We can at times be our own worse enemy.

We allow our sins, our pasts to haunt us. We allow our mistakes to overtake our minds. There are times we just live in the past, not forgetting, and not quite forgiving either. We have a forgiving God. A God who shows us what forgiveness means and we at times do not accept it, because we cannot get past our past and forgive ourselves.

We spend a lot of time in the past. And may I just say, "The past is no more! Yesterday is gone." If we don't stop living in the past, we will forget to live for today and tomorrow will be gone in the blink of an eye. Time wasted on the past is just that wasted. We can't turn the clock back, even though we wish so many times we could. For me, it's easier to forgive others than for me to forgive myself. I seem to hold on to those sins of my past, remembering.

But isn't that exactly where Satan wants us to be? As long as we dwelling on our pasts, can we really do anything for the kingdom of God today? If we are concentrating on those sins of yesterday we are missing out on the blessings of today. And there are so many. God is waiting for us to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is not about us. We just seem to make it about us don't we? If we have hurt another and ask for their forgiveness, whether they accept it or not, we need to let it and move on. If another hurts us, we need to forgive them whether they ask our forgiveness or not. Forgiveness is laying it down. In forgiveness we can find peace and assurance. We find humility in forgiveness. When we are asking another to forgive us there can be no pride there.

In St. Louis each year they have the lighting of the balloons in Forest Park. It happens at night when the sky is dark, the stars are out, and the hot air balloons are being filled so they can light and make everything around them shine in the darkness. I wanted to go each year, but for some reason I just haven't been able to attend. On the next morning, they all take flight and hundreds of these hot air balloons are off. It is a beautiful sight for those watching and I am sure even more so for those soaring through the sky. Can you imagine how freeing it is to just let go and fly? Seeing all below seem so very small in comparison to the beauty of above. When we allow ourselves forgiveness we light up and take flight. Those sins we are carrying, well, they tend to keep us grounded, unable to attend the beauty around us. It's time to light up, or lighten up, let lose and take flight. We have spent too many days just grounded. Tied to what is holding us back from really experiencing a full life. We are to take flight. We are to soar. We were born to be blessed.

In forgiveness we find growth. It's like carrying a big back pack for a long trek and being able to release it. We take it off our back and we feel lighter, we feel refreshed already, and we can stand a little taller. Carrying unforgiven sins with us is a weight we were not meant to carry. Jesus gave His life so that we could find life in Him. It's in that life we can find forgiveness and freedom. He has the key to those heavy chains wrapped around us. And He is just waiting to unlock the chains so that we might find freedom.

Ever fly a kite with your dad on a windy day? My dad and I loved flying kites. The wind would pick up after my dad had the kite ready. I would hold on to the string and the wind would blow that kite around freely, spinning and turning, with the tail coasting through the air. It was a sight of beauty seeing my rainbow colored kite soaring through the air. Christ wants us to be able to soar.

He wants us to experience freedom in letting go. I too loved balloons. It seems like I got one everywhere we went. But I wasn't the girl to hold on to the balloon. I was the girl to let go and watch it soar through the air. Watching up go up higher and higher. You could see it off in the distance just soaring away. The possibilities were endless, of course unless it got caught in a tree. Then it was just left hanging there, wanting to soar but not able to because no one had set it free. The same is true in our lives. Christ is wanting to set us free. He wants to watch us soar, and sometimes we are the only person holding us back.

Something worse than our sin, is never letting go of it. It's when we just hold on to it ourselves that the sin just seems to drag us down more, until we are in this pit of despair, having ourselves a pity party no one else wants to attend. But boy, don't we throw some dandies? We get out the can of chocolate icing, the ice cream, the candy bars, and turn on a sappy movie, and cry our eyes out. Why? We can't change what happened. We can't change others. We can change ourselves. We may not be able to change the circumstance, but we can change our outlook. And with Jesus, our outlook is pretty amazing.

I always say, "The only mistake is one not learned from." We are going to mess up. We are going to step in some smelly stuff. But you know what? Jesus has cleansing power to take out any stain. We can wash ourselves in the love of Jesus. There is nothing more powerful than watching Jesus work. When we are concentrated on our sin, our past and stumbles, we cannot see Him through our self pity.

When we make a mistake, it doesn't matter if the world around us judges us or doesn't have forgiveness. What does matter is us finding peace in forgiveness with Jesus. We all sin and to Christ, sin is sin. There is no greater sin and lesser sin. I believe He died for each sin in our past, present and future. For us to seek forgiveness in a loving Savior, we need to be ready to forgive those around us.

May we put our score cards away. May we forget the past and move on forward to all God has in store for us. How much time do we really want to waste in yesterday when we have a promising future in Christ? When we forgive others we are showing God's love. When we reach out to others who have faltered we are showing God's compassion and grace.

Whatever your holding onto day, let it go. Just simply let it go and let God deal with it. Don't continue to carry a sin of yesterday. If you are hurt, go to the one who has caused the pain, and open your heart to them. If another has turned away from you or just simply rejected your forgiveness that is no longer your burden to carry. Free yourself of yesterday today and make tomorrow a brighter day! Soar into freedom that is waiting for you today.

"But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."
1 John 1:9

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead."
Philippians 3:13

"He has removed our sins as far from us as the east to the west."
Psalm 103:12


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