Everyone reading this blog has a past of some sort – all of us have done things we wish we hadn’t done. That’s called regret, and it will stop you dreaming big. It will distort your imagination and prevent you from seeing yourself the way you truly are – several shades of awesome!
But regret is that overwhelming feeling that we wish we could press the delete button on some of our actions and some of our behaviour. We feel stupid, we feel guilty, we feel small because of the power of regret.
In church often people will share a testimony of how they lived a life full of sin until they encountered Jesus, and we learn very early on that God is a good God who forgives. Most churches get this right. However, we often don’t make it clear enough for people that even after you meet Jesus, you can still sin, you can still make stupid decisions, you can still do stupid things. What then? Sadly, churches are not loud enough about the fact that you can sin after you meet Jesus, but your sins are still forgiven.
It’s not that God looks at the person who didn’t know God and says “I don’t blame you for being so selfish, you didn’t know me”, and looks at HIS OWN CHILD and says “You should know better, you are stupid, you might as well stop dreaming!”. That’s not what life is like not now and not ever, it’s not what God is like.
Even if you knew what you were doing, and you intended to do it anyway, and you broke all Ten Commandments, and you knew it was the devil telling you to do it, and you still did it, there is still grace from God to you. God still loves you, and you don’t need to regret, you need to dream.
How can I prove it? Eve was not stupid, she was innocent, but not stupid. As Christians we fall into sin like Eve – we know God, we know God’s instructions, we know God’s Word, and we know which tree we should eat from and which trees are verboten. She listened to a talking snake over God Almighty, just like I have done and you have done! Satan got her thinking about the pleasure of following his suggestion over the pleasure of doing God’s will. You have made the same mistake as Eve, as smart as she was, and so have I.
And when Eve sinned, she felt regret. The dream must be over now. We have ruined the world now. We have ruined any chance we had with the love and goodness of God now. We feel guilty, scared, alone. We are now filled with regret. They felt that God wouldn’t want to know them now, and hid from Him and His grace.
That is regret. And it is a thought process that bypasses the love of God and the goodness of God. And you have to face up to regret and cast it out of your imagination so that you have room to dream big. Regret makes you think of your sin and your ugliness and your smallness so much you forget who you are – you are someone awesome. Your true identify is a champion.
You have to tell yourself that – I am a champion and I am free from my past. Today is a new day. God is quick to forgive, so be quick to forgive yourself. You are not the first person to go through the things you have gone through, and you are not the last. Your future is brighter than your past. The rest of your life is going to be the best of your life.
God has a special plan for your life. No matter your past. Eve gave birth to a son who became the great-great-great-etc. grandparent of the Messiah. That’s a mission and a half, that’s an awesome destiny. She became the mother of all living. Everyone who has ever loved you and cared for you and helped you and prayed for you and pastored you and inspired you was a son or daughter of Eve. Her destiny wasn’t over, it had only just begun. And your destiny isn’t over, no matter what you have done. Regret cannot claim you, not when God is on your case.
It’s time to let regret of the past go for good. It’s time to walk into your bright future. All the hidden things that you have never told anyone – you are forgiven, they are behind you. Your past does not define you. It does not shape who you are truly. You are not the person who did X, you are the person who was forgiven of X.
Regret will keep you from your future and from your dreams. You have a destiny, a plan from God, to do something great for your generation. Yes, you have sinned, but you are forgiven, and that must become bigger in your imagination.
Receive this message in your heart. You will walk in your dreams, your past is behind you! Amen!