Refocus – Turning a New Leaf
Refocus – Turning a New Leaf
For years I have lived in the past by allowing some of my hurtful experiences to continue to have power over me. I’ve built walls around myself to protect me from getting hurt again. Sometimes, I have slowly sunk into a depressed state of mind. I’ve lived in fear of repeating past behaviours, fearing the same devastating outcome.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Every one of us struggles with past grievances, rejection, death of loved ones. Some deal with memories of abuse, unfaithfulness and the list goes on and on. Consider all these past experiences as nothing more than bullies who love to taunt us and keep us from knowing the freedom we can have when we face that bully and tell him, no more.
Isaiah is reminding us that there is newness in letting go of the past. God can give you new found freedom to move forward, to change old behaviours and find deliverance from sin, find freedom in forgiveness and no longer live in fear. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God has always offered this newness of life to His people. On the other hand, there is also another power working against God and us. We know who he is and he is the father of lies, a wolf in sheep clothing, destroyer, devil, thief or Satan. He has many disguises and also many names.
John 10:10 (NASB) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly.
The devil does not want us to have a fresh start. He loves to remind us of our past sins. It keeps us spinning our wheels, until we get caught in a rut that seems too big to get out of. We can begin to think, God could never forgive me. I’m too much of a sinner for God to love me. Or you don’t know the things I’ve done. And on and on the lies go. God can forgive everyone.
1 John 1:9 (NASB) 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God wants us to start something new with HIM. Get excited. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of spinning my wheels. I want to be excited about life, about the future. I had to ask myself this question. Do I listen to the lies of Satan more than I listen to the voice of God? I had to admit that the answer has been yes. Many times I listened to the wrong voice and I realize that in doing so, I am hindering my growth. Going forward, I’m going to try to look at the things of the future and see change for the better. God promises to forget our sin.
Jeremiah 31:34 (NASB) 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Psalm 103:12 (NASB) 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Micah 7:19 (NASB) 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all [a]their sins into the depths of the sea.
Most people say they forgive. First time something goes wrong in a relationship, the old things come up. We become historical. What God cares about is that we are in a relationship with Jesus. He is interested in what we are going to do in our future, not what sins we did in the past.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB) 18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
When we sin, God will discipline His children because He is a loving God/Father. “He disciplines those He loves, but God will not leave us. How many times did God forgive Israel? Too many times to count. Israel could remember how God delivered them and they could remember the former things God did for them, but they could not see their future. I know I have been like the Israelites at times. Have you? There may be times when we might feel like we don’t have a future. Our lives can seem so messed up and it can be so difficult to see or imagine things could ever get better. God is saying that we have a future.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB) 11 For I know the plans that I [a]have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
So, all this being said, what do I need to do to change?
- Stop making excuses and get on with it.
- Stop seeing myself as the victim.
- People can scar us, but the only person who can ruin my life, is me.
- Respond to these hurts and move on.
- Don’t allow myself to linger in the stench of my own insecurities.
- Evaluate my life experiences and see what I have left.
- If I don’t learn from past experiences, I will keep repeating the same mistakes.
- Take bad memories and replace them with good ones.
- Don’t give up; success is just around the corner.
- Faith is the absence of fear.
People who are good at giving excuses are not good at anything. I’m going to stop making excuses and be the change I want to be. God will change us, but I also have to do my part. I have to take that step into the future. Confront the bullies and move them out of the way.
Was it raining when Noah built his ark? It was not raining. It took one hundred and twenty years to build the ark. It probably hadn’t even rained on planet earth up to that point in time. God instructed Noah in how to build the Ark. After much preparation and detail it was completed. The animals were secured within the Ark and the future of the people who lived at that time would be determined. It began to rain for forty days and forty nights and most of us know the story. Some believe the bible to be true and like many who thought Noah was crazy, people today believe God, about as much as the people who stayed outside the Ark believed. We know what happened to them.
Here we are today, standing outside that Ark. God is instructing us with His knowledge on how to build our future. We need to prepare for our future and face the problems which will come. We must be like Noah and listen to God’s instructions. Pride keeps us from listening. I come back to that question, who am I going to choose to listen to?
Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) 18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 24:10 (KJV) 10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Galatians 3:4 “Did you suffer so many things in vain if indeed it was in vain?”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We can’t change who we are, God changes us (the inward man), the heart of the man (person).
Zechariah 4:6 (NASB) 6 Then he [a]said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
Conclusion – Will I have a fresh/new start in life? Yes I will, when I act in faith and refocus old thought patterns into new ones. How do I dispel fear of failure? Walk by faith, not by sight. In 2014 what will be changed to make it better than last year?
The goal is to be changed into the image of Christ day after day. If we don’t have Christ, our lives will be no different. We need God to change us and that will change our lives.
Quote “Enthusiasm is the baking powder of life. Without it, you’re flat; with it, you rise.” Author unknown.
Blog inspired by notes taken under teaching.
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