October 19, 2017
Quit Fishing in the Waters of Your Past
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be as crimson, they shall be like wool (Isaiah 1:18).
Friend to Friend
Before becoming a lead teaching pastor, my husband served as a youth pastor for 13 years. During that time, he and I were invited to Washington, D.C. to lead a youth conference in a Korean Baptist Church. It was an amazing week during which God showed up in powerful ways!
At the end of the week, a woman on the Church Youth Committee invited us out to dinner. We went to a wonderful but very expensive restaurant – you know, the kind of restaurant where the menu shows no prices. At the end of the meal, our host went to pay for our meal.
I could see her talking with the restaurant owner, and I could tell that she was very upset. I was afraid she did not have enough money to pay the bill. I punched Dan in the side and said, “Honey, you have to do something!” He looked at me in disbelief and rightly so since I knew how much money he had in his wallet.
When our hostess returned to the table, I asked if everything was okay. She smiled and offered an explanation that amazed me. “Someone from the church came in, saw us all eating together, and paid the bill. Now I do not have the honor of paying for your meal.” She went on to explain that the manager apologized but said that he could not accept any payment from her because the bill had already been paid.
We keep trying to pay for our sin when Jesus has already paid for it. All we need to do is accept His forgiveness and leave our sin behind.
God’s way almost seems too easy, doesn’t it - to simply ask and receive His gift of love and forgiveness. 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. We ask for His forgiveness, and He gives it. Really? Really!
We live in a way that suggests what Jesus did on the cross is not enough. It is more than 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). We act as if the Holy Spirit needs our help when it comes to dealing with sin. He doesn’t.
The problem comes when we revisit confessed sin, when we “go fishing” in the waters of our past.
Scripture is clear about God’s attitude when one of His children repents and seeks His forgiveness.
Isaiah 1:18: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Today is the day for you to walk in the freedom of God’s forgiveness. Today is the day for you to quit fishing in the waters of your past.
Father, I am so tired of trying to live each day, carrying the baggage of my past. Please give me the courage to face the sins I have tried so hard to bury. Help me turn away from each one, leaving it in Your hands. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love, and Your forgiveness.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Today, make the choice to walk in the freedom of God’s forgiveness. Set aside time to spend in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin in your life. Confess that sin and leave it behind. Read and memorize Psalms 103:12 that says, He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from west.
More from the Girlfriends
Prayer is a powerful tool in dealing with our past. We have over-complicated prayer! In its purest form, it is talking with and listening to God. Most of us have the talking part down. The listening part – not so much!
Chairtime, a book by Dan Southerland, is the story of learning to listen to God. God wants to speak to us! He will, if we get in the chair! Check it out! And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Thursday, 19 October 2017.