Rejecting Our Past

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires…  Ephesians 4:20-22

The Bible calls believers to put off our old selves. It’s describing your old life like filthy garments that are covered with soil, and nastiness, and filth, and getting rid of those and putting on the new, clean garments that God has given you.  God wants believers to reject our past, so that we can move on to the new life that Jesus has for us.  And yet, so many of us wind up living in the past.

I heard about a mailman who was on a new route, and he came up to a house – one of the first houses of the day – and as he came up to the house, there was this huge German Shepherd up on the porch of the house.  The German Shepherd didn’t have on a collar or leash, he was just sitting there on the porch of the house. 

The mailman began to go into the yard. As soon as he did, that German Shepherd lunged off of the porch, teeth bared, growling, barking, and snarling.  He ran full force toward that mailman for about 20 feet, and then, suddenly, yanked back, turned around, and ran back to the porch. That happened every day, for three or four days.  He’d jump off the porch, barking, vicious, ready to attack, and then, he’d run 20 feet, suddenly run back to the house.

A few days later, the mailman saw the man in the yard of that house, who owned the dog. He told him what had happened. He said, “Every day, I come here, and your dog runs at me, looks at me like he’s going to kill me, runs for about 20 feet, stops suddenly, like he’s being yanked back, and runs back.”  He said, “What have you got going on?”  The man replied, “Well, really, nothing.”  “We’ve had that dog on a 20-foot chain for the past three years.  We just took him off of it last week.  He still thinks he’s chained up.”

That dog was living in the past.  And here’s what Satan wants to do in your life: He wants to keep you living in your past, before you came to know Jesus. Satan wants to keep you there; he wants you to keep thinking you’re that same person. 

After we’re saved, it is so easy to keep living in the past. God turns on the light, but we still want to walk around in the dark.  God gives new life to our hearts, but we still act as if we are spiritually dead.  God cleanses our hearts through Jesus, but we still continue in the dirt and the defilement of our old sin.  That’s why Paul tells believers to live like believers.  Live like followers of Jesus Christ.  Reject your past.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!