God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. (Ecclesiastes 5:20)
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14)
God does not want us sitting around obsessing over our past sins. He calls us to repent and believe the good news. Repentance isn’t just being sorry. It involves change. A 180º turn. We stop doing the things that kept us bound, and we start doing the things the Word teaches us to do. We walk in love and forgiveness. That’s the secret to enjoying life. Let’s pray!
Release me from obsession with my sin and my past. I confess my sin to you… I receive your forgiveness, and I am actively walking out a brand new trajectory for my life – the path that Your Word has offered me that leads to life and love and great joy. Yes, I will have trouble in this world, but the force of Your joy will cause me to overcome every obstacle the devil puts in my path. I choose to walk in love and forgiveness today. I choose to put away anger and offense and receive Your joy which is my strength.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth. Psalm 73:25
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13
What do you desire? What drives you? If it’s anything other than The Lord, that desire is probably driving you away from joy and fulfillment and into an indifferent attitude or even loathing your life. If you make Jesus the Leader of your life, allowing your desires to line up with what the Creator specifically designed for you to be and do in this world, your desires will align with His, and you will discover fulfillment and joy you never dreamed you could have.
I’ve been chasing dreams that have brought me nothing in return. I’m through with pursuing stuff that doesn’t satisfy. Take me out of this trap, and lead me to my destiny in you. Give me the deep-seated desire to desire you first and foremost. Then give me the power to follow through with my intention to make you my Leader, my Lord, and the one I worship forever.
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. (Matthew 15:5)
Love is patient. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:19)
Your Word promises me both patience and encouragement. I could use a lot of both. I receive patience for those in my life that try me. It’s not their problem, Lord, it’s mine. I am the one with this dangling nerve that others can so easily bump into. This causes dissonance and knee-jerk reactions that are harmful in my relationships. I want to live in harmony with those I love. “Complete” harmony. So make me a complete person, one who knows and understands and experiences Your great love. Love is patient. So make me patient. Ready to wait when others are late. Ready to forgive when others offend. Ready to smile on others when I’m tempted to grimace. Make me like You, my great, loving, and patient Father. Always ready to wait while I dawdle. Always eager to forgive when I miss it. I love you and worship you.
Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15)
Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny. (Psalm 73:21-24)
Bitterness is poison. Jesus knew this when He commanded us to forgive anyone and everyone who has sinned against us. I used to think that some sins were unforgivable and that God would excuse me from forgiving when the offense caused excessive pain or trauma. Not so. What I didn’t understand was that forgiveness was the key to the healing I needed from the event that caused me pain. When I make the decision to release an individual from the responsibility of harming or offending me, I release myself from the chains that tie me to their sin and to that pain and to the individuals themselves. When I forgive, then I’m the one who goes free. It’s a counter-intuitive, counter-cultural truth, and it works wonders in the soul.
Got bitterness? Get forgiveness.
You know the depth of my pain and sorrow. You yourself were anything but exempt from it while you were on this earth. And as you were suffering, you continually issued forgiveness to the perpetrators of your suffering. You said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” So, Jesus, with your help, I speak those same words over those who have captured my soul with bitterness. This bitterness has hindered me long enough, stunting my growth as an adult, as a leader, as a parent, as a person. I let it go as an act of obedience to your command. Every time it tries to take root in my mind I will cast it out like an intruder. This is final. Your Word takes final authority in my life. I choose to forgive. Now, please lead me to my glorious destiny.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.