March 21st

Healing Memories

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith”  Philippians 3:7-9 NKJV 

“1 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” Philippians 3:12-15 NKJV 

Letting go of the past is a hard thing to do, especially if you have some things in your past that were important to you.  In my walk with the Lord, I discovered that I had been holding on to things in my past in an unhealthy way.  I cherished my memories of sin of sexual exploits and pornography.  I idolized some of the good experiences in my life and found myself trying to relive the past in the present.  I kept the memories of my college days, relationships with women and success in business like little trophies in my mind.  I would use them to fall back on whenever I needed a self-esteem boost.   It’s not that it’s wrong for us to fondly remember the past.  However, when the memories become objects for sin (like lust and idolatry) and/or they become the focus of our thoughts, we’ll need to take action to bring those memories and thoughts into obedience to God. 

Anything that is siphoning off reverence and devotion to God is an idol and God calls us to remove all idols in our life.  This can include the memories of the past.  This is much easier said than done, but Paul gives us some practical guidance on how to do this in the above passages. Paul considered all the things he could have been proud about in his life as loss for the cause of Christ.  He actually counted them as rubbish!  His life’s perspective was “forward looking,” fixed on Christ calling Him home at the finish line.   

Applying this to our own situation, we can first ask God to reveal to us if we have a problem of holding on to things in our past.  Paul said in verse 15 that God would reveal to us where our shortcomings are.  Secondly, we take the things that God shows us and nail them to the cross, asking Jesus to take the memories, put them in their proper place and help us to not place any undo attention on them.  Finally, we train our minds to look forward to a successful completion of our walk with God.  This will likely have to be repeated until the healing process is complete, but the results of peace will be worth the effort!  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, Thank you for providing a way for me to receive healing of my memories.  I confess that I have been holding on to the following things in my thoughts in unhealthy and/or sinful ways:  ______________ (list).  I take each of those things and nail them to the cross right now. Please heal my mind and help me to have a healed perspective on those things.  I train my thoughts on you, Jesus.  Please help me to maintain vigilance in controlling my thoughts and keeping them obedient to you.  I apply the blood of Jesus to my thoughts, which cleanses my mind from the dead works of sin.  Lord Jesus, I receive your healing in my mind.  Thank you!  In your name I pray, Amen.”