How “past” is your past?


Job 29:2
“Oh, that I were as in months past,As in the days when God watched over me;

Isaiah 43:18-19

“ Do not remember the former things,
      Nor consider the things of old. 
       Behold, I will do a new thing,
      Now it shall spring forth;
      Shall you not know it?
      I will even make a road in the wilderness
      And rivers in the desert.

We tend to think of the “past” as the negative things we did or as something negative that happened to us.  The past is something to “get over”.

What about the “positive” past?  While we do not want to forget how far God has brought us or the blessings He has poured out on us, is it possible we focus too much on past victories?

There are lessons I’ve learned throughout the years.  Basic principles that can be applied as far as ministry is concerned.  I KNOW how to pray.  Is it possible that my past positive experiences could hold me back from progressing now?  I believe so. 

On a recent road trip, I was listening to a tape (yes, a tape, our CD player in the car is iffy).  It happened to be whatever tape would work in the player (since the tape player is also iffy).  The tape I found that worked happened to be a Graham Cooke tape on Spiritual Warfare.  One thing he pointed out was often we rely too much on our past experiences rather than asking God how to handle our current situation. 

This has been true in my life.  In my experience, I’ve seen prayer groups function like a well-oiled machine.  I’ve seen the unity and how the hand of God has moved when teams are moving in the Spirit.  I have trained teams…that is in my experience.  Although I have some knowledge, it is not a formula. 

Formulas apply to mathematics; to numbers.  Humans like formulas…we like formulas like we like programs.  We get an idea (usually from our past experience or someone else’s – guess what the programs that work for Rick Warren may not work at your church) we implement it according to our vision and then we wonder why it isn’t working or we did not get the result we were hoping for or the results someone else got.

There are principles that work.  Sowing and reaping; when you sow, you will reap; you will reap in the area that you sow – or what you sow.  Agreement; if you can inspire people to agree, you will see things move forward.  It is easy for us to focus so much on what God has done in the past and HOW He did it that we are become ineffective.

We begin to think like Job, “Oh, that I were as in months past…”  “If only things were like they were at this church…” 

While I never  want to forget where God has brought me from and what God has done, I do not want those days to be “the good ole days”. 

My prayer today is “God, what do You want to do in this situation?  How do You want to do it?  What do you require from me?”

I want to know that “new thing”.


2 thoughts on “How “past” is your past?

  1. Would also like to add, there are things in our past we need to put behind us because they are negative. There are some things we should stop talking about because we are glorifying or minimizing things that God has brought us out of.

  2. Paul

    Is it possible that my past positive experiences could hold me back from progressing now? I believe so.

    Not even remotely sure how to “prove” it, but believing this is far more true than some would ever believe. THanks for taking the time to post.

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