Girlfriends in God - Feb. 2, 2010

February 2, 2010

Let it Go! 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
Ephesians 1:7 (NLT) "He (God) is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven."

Friend To Friend 
Our grandson is now six-months old and does something new every day.  It seems like just yesterday when Justus was an infant, content to be held and cuddled.  Not so much anymore.  He has discovered a whole new world of exciting things and wants to grab each one and put it in his mouth.  He is one knee away from crawling and is teething two teeth.  I hate to admit it, but he is growing up - fast!

One of the first signs of maturing was when Justus started to open his little hands.  For the first few weeks of his life, his fingers tightly curled into a tiny fist and stayed that way.  However, the day soon came when he extended his little fingers and began to grab anything he could touch.  We had to change our perspective and make sure that anything within his reach was helpful - not harmful - to his growth.  

Our spiritual maturity is much the same.  As we grow in Christ, our faith slowly unfolds in daily obedience as God guides and encourages us to let go of the "old things" and reach for the "new things" he has planned for our lives. However, it is not always easy to let go of those old things.

One of the key factors in my ongoing battle with clinical depression is dealing with and letting go of past sin and pain. The shadows of yesterday can so easily become the dark clouds of today. In order to deal with depression and the darkness life can hold, we must deal with sin - first, in a personal relationship with Christ and then on a daily basis as a believer.

Every believer has two problems when it comes to dealing with sin.  First, we must confess sin.  I know it sounds simple but so many of us have lost our sensitivity to sin because we are aligned with the world instead of with God.  The mark of a believer growing in grace is sensitivity to sin.  When I was a little girl, I rarely wore shoes.  But when the first day of summer came along, I would kick off my shoes and store them in my closet - wearing them only when absolutely necessary.  Even now, I can remember the painful sensations of playing on the gravel road beside our house.  The sharp rocks cut and bruised my tender feet - at first - but by summer's end, my feet were rough and calloused.  I could run, jump and play for hours on the rocks that had once caused so much pain. 

Sin is much the same. The first time we commit a sin, it breaks our heart, but the next time we commit that same sin, it doesn't seem quite as bad.  Our heart becomes calloused to that sin we repeatedly commit and a foothold is formed, making a place for depression and darkness to reside. We must confess sin completely, confidently and continually.  Jesus is faithful and will keep His promise to forgive and to cleanse us from all sin. 

Psalm 103:12 (NIV) "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

The second problem we have with sin is forgetting forgiven sin.  Is it even possible to experience true forgiveness?  While we can't totally blot out a memory, we can make sure it's no longer a live issue in our lives.  God's way seems too easy - to just ask for and receive.  We act as if the Holy Spirit needs our help or as if what Jesus did on the cross was not enough.  We feel like we must make additional payments for our sin by doing something when Micah 7:19 is clear about God's attitude toward our sin, "Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean" (NLT). The problem comes when we revisit confessed sin, when we "go fishing" in the waters of our past. 

Sometimes, the darkness in life is the result of sin we have never acknowledged or dealt with. Guilt and shame surround each transgression and since condemnation seems like the logical solution, we allow the darkness to consume us as payment for each sin.  If we want to walk in victory, we must make the deliberate choice to face and deal with sin - and then let it go!        

Let's Pray 
Father, I am so tired of trying to live today while carrying the baggage of my past.  Please give me the courage to face the sins I have tried so hard to bury.  Help me to turn away from each one, leaving it in Your hands.  Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, Your mercy and Your love.  Please fill my heart with the light of Your forgiveness. 

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
What are you holding onto that is keeping God from filling your life with purpose and power?

Choose to confront that sin.

Deal with it and destroy any paths that might lead you back to that same sin.

Let it go and praise God for the forgiveness He offers.

Read and memorize John 3:16.

More From The Girlfriends 
Today's devotion can and will change your life if you apply it personally. You don't have to understand it all to have it all, girlfriend.  Accept His love.  Surrender the pain and sin of your past to His forgiveness and healing power.  Come to Him just as you are. 

I believe that we all want to be successful and live according to the purpose and plan God has for us. Setting meaningful life goals is an important step in that process. Should Christians have life goals? I believe learning how to set life goals that are submitted to God and line up with His will is a Godly discipline. Need help? Enroll in my online Bible study, Light for the Journey, and get in on the current series, If You Aim at Nothing ... You Will Hit It!

Struggling with depression?  I have been there, friend, and if God can deliver me, He can and will deliver you. Read how God brought me out of the pit in my book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, and be encouraged. 

We can also connect through e-mail or on Facebook! Let's talk! 

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Tuesday, 02 February 2010.