God's word in today's world

Let it go!


Philippians 3:12-16

Do things from your past pop up every now and then to stop you in your tracks? Sometimes without warning – sometimes when you end up in a similar situation or when you return to the place where you’ve made the mistake.

When I drive along the N2 past Riversdale I get a sick feeling in my stomach. I feel like hitting the steering wheel out of frustration, because you see this is where I clearly remember a mistake I made.

When I was a student I used to work as a bus driver for Inter Cape. One night while I was in charge of the busses one of them broke down close to Riversdale. With my limited knowledge I opened the bonnet. Looking at the engine I realized no diesel was coming through. I grabbed the spanners, fitted new diesel filters and bled the engine so that diesel sprayed all over the place, but nothing I did could get the refs up. Time went by and the passengers became increasingly restless.

The mistake I made was not transferring the passengers of the broken bus to the other busses. Then two-thirds of them would have been in time. Eventually all three buses were late.

This is probably not such a good example, but every time I drive up that hill, I get that sick feeling slowing me down. Thirty years later! It’s time for me to make a plan and get over it. Let it go!

Because we are so easily influenced by our past, the devil knows that this is a means by which he can put on the brakes and slow us down. I can hear many people say, no, rather take someone else. You don’t know my past. I am a failure. And that is how you and I put on the hand brake.

I wonder what the impact would have been if Paul had said the same to God on the road to Damascus: No, sorry Lord. I suspect some crossed lines somewhere, because You’ve picked the wrong person. Do You know my past? I suspect You do, but just to refresh your memory: I’m Saul, I’ve got blood on my hands. I’ve stopped counting the number of people I’ve killed. It would’ve been bad for proclaiming God’s Word.

No, Paul is wake up and then and there he gives the devil a bloody nose: 13… but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward …

Paul does not allow anybody or anything to put on his brakes. He does not allow his past to slow him down. He knows he was going in the wrong direction. He knows he did wrong. Very wrong, but he understands the effect of Jesus’ death on the cross. He knows that Jesus had taken the punishment for his past wrong doings. Therefore, he can go on to be a powerful instrument in God’s hand.

But this was a conscious choice that he had to make. I’m convinced the devil tried his luck with Paul. For sure the devil entered his thoughts and tried to use his past to corner him. But he couldn’t do anything with Paul, because Paul put his past behind him and put all his energy into what lies ahead.

May this also be true for you. May you consciously choose to let go of the brakes of the past and put all your energy into what lies ahead. May God use you and may He hit a straight shot with crooked sticks like us!

Reflection

What does your past look like?

Does it sometimes slow you down?

How can you let it go?

Prayer

Our Father, I fell into the trap. I’ve pulled up the handbrake of my past. Please help to get past it. I want to run through the world for You! Amen

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