Resting in Our New Past in Him
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. ~paul, Least of The Apostles, in Galatians
Oh beloved, it is true. We seem to have memories of our past that are true. But nothing could be further from the truth. We remember ourselves as better than we thought we were… We remember our failures like they disqualify us… We remember the ways we tried to do the right thing… We remember how badly we failed… We remember the times that so many things happened.
So much of what we did hurt so many people. Oh G_d. We raged against the machine of eternity. We were at enmity with the One who made that place as His habitation. Nothing we did worked. We only ruined and smashed things. And then we made the past even worse by believing it to be something better than we had made it. We minimized our sin. We glorified ourselves.
This fool of a writer has let so many people down in the past, that I am often surprised at the grace extended to me by anyone who knew me before The Truth set me free. Everything. Every. Little. Thing… Was about my comfort and setting other people up to make sure they behaved in such a way as to assure the same. However, to try and keep my sanity, I re-wrote the stories over and over again until I was somehow able to keep my stomach from flipping over the sickening truth. I was a failure.
Oh, I believed (in my astounding hubris) that I loved people. But really, I did not care whether anyone lived or died – as long as I could get the things into my eyes or ears or body that would take away the restless and bitter pain of my existence. Even my ex-wife and kids suffered as servants to my happiness.
And over the years, another sickness manifested itself in me. I would continually revamp the history (read my side of the story) to smooth over the past. And even into my years of freedom, the shadows of my rewrite tend to overshadow the reality of the pain i truly caused to others. Oh no, i was not a monster… Not any worse than any of you who are reading this entry actually.
I was the dad who had the good job and the nice house and the beautiful family. I sincerely wanted to be a good christian. I wanted to do my devotions every day, and take my family to church every weekend. I wanted to vote properly and stand against the rising tide of OTHERS failures within my society. Does this man sound familiar to you?
Obviously, all of this fell apart. Lies and liars always do. And simply wanting something is not ever enough to get it. Rather, the true master of my life (me) tore me apart, and left me bleeding out and dying in the mountains of Arizona some years ago.
But back to the truth of the matter now… None of the above happened to me. Oh yes, it really did occur. But the man who experienced all of this failure and caused all of this hurt on others – is now dead.
Can we see it? Look at the passage. The lies of the father of lies, and the lies of my now-dead old man (flesh) scream to try to both condemn the new man i am in Christ, and try to validate the self-driven, rule-bound efforts of my flesh in the past. All of this is a toxic brew designed to keep the new me from making any progress on the new path G_d has set before me.
However, there is a deeper Truth to all of this. i (and you, believer) no longer have a past. You and i know Him – now. And to know Him, is to be eternal. The old man has died. We no longer rage against eternity in some time-shackled struggle. The new man we are simply lives now, and in Love with Him.
But once we know this. Once we rest in our new past in Christ. Something happens. Everything begins to move in the right direction. There is no limitation of only the horrible past and angst about an unknown future. There is simply living and moving and having our being in Him. We live right now. And right now is the only place where things can get done. Right now is the only place where we can actually Love others with the Love with which He has forever Loved us.
So, are you struggling with your past? Do you know Him? If no, then call out to Jesus! Let Him set you free! If yes though, stop struggling. There is no past. There is only now. Walk free, right now, in Him. Tonight is your night beloved. Time to know that you live outside of time and in eternity with Him. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is now serving as a teacher in China. You can email him at Makala@ps1611.org
Think About This: You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. ~Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord And rely upon his God.” Isaiah 50:10