There is a series that Craig Groeschel is preaching right now about getting past your past…and he shared an amazing lesson last week, the first week of the series, Breaking the Labels that Bind. We all have a label or labels that we have been given. If this had been years back I would have been reluctant to share my label (s). But by being a member at Lifechurch, I have learned to be transparent and real because I am not judged or ridiculed by doing so.
I have been labeled: Melissa the Rebel, Melissa the Blacksheep and Melissa the people-pleaser. I have a very sad but victorious past, and those are my labels that I have heard others call me and I have called myself. If its something rebellious, I have done it. “You can’t make me follow your rules, I am my own person.” Hmmm…I needed to listen to God’s rules, and not try to set my own. With the people pleaser label, when I was young, I wanted everyone to like me, so I tried to do everything in my power, good and bad to please everyone, but was not pleasing to God, who is the most High and the only one I should be worrying about pleasing.
So. as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, …anyone who belongs to Christ has become a NEW PERSON. The old life is GONE; a new life has begun. (NLT). That is what I have in Jesus Christ! A new life!
The day that I heard Craig talk about this, I thought that he was talking one on one right to me. It was so close and personal to my own experiences that I had to sit and thank God for his grace and mercy that led me out of that pit into HIS light. And then God is going to use those experiences to save others, I just know it.
The next day, I was listening to K-Love and the DJ was reading out of a devo book that they are doing every day. I had the book and started reading along with K-love as they go on this journey. The book is Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. In this book, Sarah takes scripture and puts it into easy words, words from Jesus talking to you. This is what was on the next day, Monday, after I heard Craig speak on Labels.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to ME. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. TRUST ME, AND WATCH TO SEE WHAT I CAN DO! Romans 8:28
Powerful! Trust God and see what He can do in your life!!
When you feel inadequate or discouraged, just remember this..God has always thought of you as precious and He has a very special purpose in mind for you!
He has great plans for you!! Jeremiah 29:11
Forgetting what is behind…Philippians 3:13-14