May 26th

 

Memories of Sin

7But 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; 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.   Philippians 3:7-11 NKJV

 

As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we will begin to see our lives as God sees them.  This “new vision” seems to be especially sharp looking backward through the years – i.e., that hindsight is 20/20!  Many of the things we took pride in years ago may have been offensive to God.  The memory of them could still be causing problems in our relationship with God now.  

 

I can identify with Paul in the above passage.  I used to think I was somebody in the world, but now I count all that as loss.  I’ve begun to see how I had based my life on the world’s definition of success during my first 30 years.  I took pride in my education, sexual exploits, wealth and job performance.  I lived an outward life as a “good” Christian, while I lived in hypocrisy by feeding a secret sexual addiction.  My hypocrisy grieved God and it grieves me when I think back on what a fool I was in my youthful pride.  I was an easy target for Satan’s fiery arrows. 

 

Even when I was awash in sin, God had mercy on me and didn’t give up on me.  He tugged at my heart, convicted me of my sins and answered my prayers for forgiveness and healing.  He was gentle in not overwhelming me with the revelation of my sin.  He worked with me as I was able to deal with each area of disobedience. 

 

Now that I have been forgiven and healed from my sin, the challenge is to practice healthy thinking regarding the past. Satan still tries to tempt me to lust over the memories of what I did, but God reminds me that I can take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).  I have the power to choose what I’m going to let my thoughts dwell on. I have the power to choose to apply the blood of Jesus to those memories and declare them null and void. The blood cleanses my conscience from those sins of my youth (Hebrews 9:14). 

 

If there are memories of sin that the devil is using to keep you in bondage to shame and/or fear, I urge you to surrender those sins to God and ask for his forgiveness through the blood of Christ.  Jesus paid the penalty for your sin by dying on the cross, therefore, you need not think on them any longer.  Some of those memories may be difficult to surrender because they still give you pleasure in thinking on them.  If that’s the case, ask God to help you die to the pleasure of relishing the sin.  It may take time, but God will help you through this.  Ultimately, you should be able to look forward in your relationship with Jesus and not drag your thoughts through the mistakes of the past any longer.     

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, I thank you for providing forgiveness for my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Father, I confess that I have sinned by holding on to memories of sinful things in these specific ways: ___________(list).  Please help me to see those sins for what they are and empower me to no longer cherish my sin.  Please wash my memories with the blood of Jesus, which cleanses my conscience from my sin.  I confess any pride that I have taken in my sin over the years.  I see now how repulsive pride is to you.  I humble myself before you now, Lord, and I draw near to you.  Please help me look forward now and grow in my relationship with you without the hindrances of the past.  Thank you, Lord! I praise you now and forever, Amen.”