Thursday, February 24, 2011

Forgive yourself- he already has.


(the one of my local views)

Can you forgive yourself?

I know that for me when it comes down to it I really have a hard time forgiving myself. It’s almost always been this way.
At least as much as I can recall.
Especially with anything considered “big”.

And often I get myself mixed up with God when it comes to these things. (Though Really- don’t we all often times place ourselves in the God position where we want to control things or take care of them ourselves, or even place ourselves in the seat of judgment- aganist others or ourselves?)

But is that how God works?
Nope. No way, No How.

Thank goodness!

And It amazes me, God’s forgiveness. Why?

Because it’s so clear. So definite, so FINAL.

He doesn’t forgive us then bring that sin back up to us later on. Saying “Hey remember when you did that?” Pointing out our flaws.
He doesn’t hold it against us when we sin again (sometimes the same sin) and say “*sigh* - again, didn’t you learn anything last time we went down this road?”.

Nope. Why?
Because they are gone from him.

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

He’s removed them.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

SO I’ve confessed.
He’s faithful to forgive and he has.

I’m one of those people where I believe you can’t pick and choose what you believe in the Bible. If you’re going to believe part of it you better believe all of it. So I have to take the head knowledge from some of these verses and transfer them to my heart. And quote them over and over to get them to settle into my soul where I will believe them.

It’s amazing to me how God is using different people who have no idea what happened this past year to help me through this.

In fact both of my pastors (one from my Saturday night church and then one from my Sunday church) touched on the issue I face. The issue of letting go of my past.

One of them was speaking about our identity in Christ (you can listen to the sermon here . You’ll want the ones called Identity: the key to everything- 1,2 &3)

He talked about our personality versus our persona and the difference between the two of them.

"Our identity is made of 2 things: Who you are on earth, which is your personality and How you are known in heaven, which is your persona." (thanks-Pastor Stan)

And he touched on how we need to see ourselves as God sees us. Letting go of looking at our past- that’s who we were not who we are. God sees us as present future not present past.
(I’ll be honest I often see myself present past more than who I am becoming.)

My other pastor spoke on moving forward from our past as well. He mentioned that God will give us everything that we need to succeed, we just have to have the faith to keep going no matter what is going on around us. And mentioned this verse:

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Take a good look at Paul who is speaking here. Before he knew Christ he was super religious. A priest’s priest is what I believe I’ve heard him called. He had the law down to a T and had the pedigree to go along with it. But before he KNEW Christ he was killing Christians.

Yet he says those words…
"forgetting those things that are behind me”…

So won’t you join me today in pressing on toward the goal. Forgetting what lies behind and going forward into the forgiveness that God has for us.
I know for me it may be something that I always struggle with but I truly believe that God wants us to see ourselves as he sees us. Forgiven and loved.


Sheryl said...

I often get myself mixed up with God---so true! And not just when it comes to forgiveness. Thanks for defining persona---I'm going to have to ruminate on that for a while. It was a great thought. I just need to unpack it for myself a little more.

Bonnie Gray said...

God somehow knows exactly the words of encouragement to give us faith for that next step. You've showered us with so many goodies... esp. your heart. Thanks, Leanna!

S.I.F. said...

Forgiveness is definitely something I struggle a great deal with... mostly when it comes to forgiving myself. I think I'm STILL punishing myself for mistakes I made years ago... I love this message!