For the next few weeks I want to focus on dreaming big. One of the ways you guarantee yourself a better future is to dream big. To deliberately use your imagination to imagine a great future. You need to see that God has a huge plan for your life. You need to see that God believes in you. You need to see that God is on your side.
But before I can help you get your mind on your great future, I need to help you get your mind off your past. Living in the past is a killer! It is deadly! Living in the past will kill your dreams, kill your potential, kill your self-confidence, kill your God-confidence.
Now all of you reading this have different pasts. Some of you will have horrific pasts, involving abuse and neglect. Others will have average pasts, others amazing pasts. But all of your pasts have one thing in common – they are over!
Many people are held back by negative emotions from thoughts of their past. They are scared people will find out what they have thought and done. They feel regret, they feel shame, they feel they wish they had never met a certain person, done a certain act. They feel emotions that are incredibly hard to shift and deal with.
But I want you to know today: God can help you shift from your past. Your past does not have to define you another day. It’s time for a new beginning and we can have one today! If you want a new beginning, Thursdays are the day for you in the new few weeks and months.
I want you to stop praying about the past, stop meditating on the past, stop rehearsing your past mistakes and past hurts, stop dreaming about past relationships. I want you to go to bed tonight not haunted by your past.
God allowed you to be born with a purpose and a destiny and a future. God wants you to be defined by your future success not your past failures. God wants you to know that holding onto your past is killing your future potential and it is time to let you.
I am such a strong advocate that God has a future dream for you, and I want all of you to know that God loves you and has a great plan for your future. No matter what has happened in your past, God can still use you. God wants to use you. I do not want you to die with your potential unlocked. I want you free from your past – there is too much to do in this nation and in this generation for you to be looking back in anger all the time!
In Luke 17.32 Jesus gave everyone of us a very specific instruction. He said: “Remember Lot’s wife!” Have you obeyed that instruction of the Master this week? Have you remembered Lot’s wife?
Have you thought about Genesis 19 this week, have you thought about God about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness and their corroded and broken lives full of sin and shame? God loved these people so much but they were doing nothing but imagining new ways to sin and new ways to hurt people.
Have you thought about God’s love preserving Lot and rescuing him and his family from the destruction? Have you thought that God only gave them one simple instruction as he delivered them: don’t look back.
Have you remembered that Lot’s wife didn’t even obey one simple instruction and she looked back, even though God was saving her from certain destruction? Have you considered that she valued her past more than her future? Have you remembered that sometimes you remember your past more than your future, and that doing so will kill your potential?
Have you ever wondered what Lot’s wife’s destiny was? I wonder what plans God had to prosper her and to give her a hope and a life of abundance? Have you wondered what her story would be if she looked forward? Would you and I know her name, and not have to keep calling her “Lot’s wife”? Would her life have had some purpose and some destiny?
I want this story to shake you up a little. I want to not just inspire you today, but to really challenge you – I want to alarm you a little. Remember alarms are to wake you up, and I want you to wake up: to remain in your past in your mind will kill your future because you cannot dream and reminisce at the same time.
Looking back will make you as useful to the kingdom of God as a pillar of salt. Your past is over, it’s gone. Everything yesterday is over. God wants to do something new and powerful in your life, but He cannot do it if you are lingering in your past!