1 Corinthians 3:18-23 – “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” NASB
I ask that you consider a few words in verses 21 and 22 and allow me to expand on them and hopefully inspire and challenge you to a new level of life in God. Let’s read the entire verses together and let me emphasize a few words. “So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,’ 22 WHETHER Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you…” It continues with the incredibly powerful and important words, “and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” [Emphasis mine].
I ask that you read that again and tell me what is missing. What time dimension is missing? It speaks of things present and things to come or the present and the future, but did you notice that the past is not mentioned. Why not? Why did the apostle Paul omit that time dimension?
Let’s read Romans 8:38-39 in conjunction with this and I will give my thoughts on the reason for the omission. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Emphasis mine].
What did Jesus do on the Cross? He paid for our sin, right? He purchased our past. Yes, he purchased our present and future too, but as Paul declared the present and the future belong to us but yesterday does not. It has been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. I say that in the sense that the past is off-limits to us. It is bought and paid for and if we have repented of our sins and accepted the Grace and Pardon of God our past has been erased. It is gone and we have no right to access it any longer. We have no right to bring it up and beat ourselves over the head with it. That is the tactic of the devil to bring us shame and regret, but Jesus paid for my past. IT IS GONE!
In Psalms 103:12 we discover, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” It is UNDER THE BLOOD of JESUS! You live in the present and what you do will either bring you nearer God or place you in the need of repentance and forgiveness, but it belongs to you. It is yours to access and live. The past is not, it is gone! You are not who you were, you are a New Creation in Jesus. You have been born again and are a brand-new person with a brand-new DNA and history, the history you are creating right now! Make it a victorious history!
The future is yours to move into and become who God says you are. You are an overcomer and more than a conqueror in Jesus! The devil wants to use the past, yours, or someone you have dealt with and cause you to have resentment or regret. Those are not part of the Kingdom of God and if you allow the devil to use the past to refresh old wounds and remind you of failures you will suffer on every level in life.
I suggest that resentment and regret have virtually the same effect on the human body and the human spirit. Why? Because they are both tied to the past. We must not allow our identity to be who we were but WHO WE ARE! Our identity must be GOD and our present relationship with Him.
I remind you of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:12-16 and ‘forget the past.’ Let’s determine that we will ‘forget what lies behind and reach for what lies ahead in God.’ You are more than you are now and more than you think you can be because of what Jesus did and is doing! Nail the past to the Cross and NEVER go back and revisit what no longer belongs to you.
You can reign in life in Christ but not if you harbor resentment or regret and focus on the past. We must focus on the present our condition and position in Christ and the future, what He says we are and what we are becoming!
Have a Great Day in Jesus!