Spilled Perfume

Don’t Live in the Past

It will sound odd, but as a child I had difficulty falling asleep at night because I was convinced that God was going to murder me during the night.  I have never met anyone else who can say the same thing, but that childhood fear of sleeping has lingered on into my adult life, so that my body generally goes into a state of panic when I lie down and turn the light off.  No matter how tired and exhausted I am, the moment the “go to bed” conditions are surrounding me (lights off, lying down in bed, etc.), my body goes into that fearful state.

While I have grown tremendously, and these panic attacks are no longer so regular, they have returned in the last few weeks unfortunately.

This morning at 6:30, I had the opportunity to pray out loud to God, while no one else was awake yet, and I audibly spoke all the things that are causing me anxiety – things about my future, things about my present, and things about my past.  As I spoke out the future things, my anxiety subsided because God reminded me that he has miraculously saved me from quite a number of dangers, and he will always come through.  Gradually, my anxiousness about present circumstances also subsided, because God is with me now presently, coming through for me and meeting my every need. He is faithful.

Then came the past issues.

The past is something I can’t shake. I can’t trust God to “come through” and solve it, because it’s already over and done.  It already happened.  There is a particular thing in my past that happened, which I grieve immensely. I will not share about that here, except to say that I feel like a failure.

Stop looking back!

Stop looking back!

In addition to the “failure” that I feel so heavily, there is also the weight of the prostitution. Both of these things are things I cannot travel back in time to erase. They really happened. I realize that my present potential is being thwarted because I am somehow holding onto my past.  God longs to use me for his kingdom, which is the reason I was created, so that I may be free and live a full life, productive and meaningful, sowing seeds that will last on into eternity.  People will be in heaven because of my witness, who would not have otherwise known Christ. God has strategically placed me in people’s lives for that very purpose – to point them to him.

But Satan sneaks along like an unnoticed shadow and plants seeds of doubt, condemnation, reminding me of the past, and distracting me from the kingdom work I am so passionate about.  If I listen to those subtle messages, my focus shifts off of the kingdom and onto my own self – which brings captivity rather than the freedom I was experiencing – because it goes against our design as human beings to focus on ourselves. We were made to worship GOD alone, and have no idols.

We are advised by the apostle Paul to “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).  Trusting that what God says is true, that he is who he claims to be, and that he will always come through, is what protects us from the distractions of the world and of the enemy.  We were made for a bigger purpose than what our minds can even comprehend.

Our spirits were not meant to live in this world. They were meant to live in a resurrected Eden-like body in a place we can’t come close to imagining – in the presence and paradise of the living God.

As beautiful as this earth is, with its purple mountains majesty, fruited plains, and shining seas, we were not saved to live here. We were not created for this place. We are just passing through this world on our way to God’s heaven. I can’t wait.

– Steve Berger, “Between Heaven and Earth”

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