God doesn’t want you to go around in circles.
Deuteronomy 2:3 says, ‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north.’
The Christian life is a walk. We are given paths to walk on. As we keep walking towards the end result that we envision for ourselves, we will keep changing into that person Jesus wants us to be.
Sometimes we think that transformation is an instantaneous thing. In reality, it’s a journey that never stops.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Walking the spiritual path is more important than walking the direction God has for you on Earth. We must have a clear heart and clear mind to hear from God and see the plan He has for us. He has a pathway into that clarity of mind and heart.
God wants us to become influencers - people who bring change into the lives of others. In order to do this, we need to grow and keep moving forward.
‘For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles… Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.’
Hebrews 5:12–6:3 (NKJV)
In this scripture, Paul’s goal was to get everyone to become teachers and influencers of others, with the ability to lead other people.
Those who are using their gifts and spiritual life to lead others develop their senses. We don’t grow by just hearing and learning. We grow because we use what we know influencing others to progress. The criteria for growth is that we can tell the difference between good and evil.
Babies eat anything. Young children eat what is easy to eat, but not what they find distasteful, like vegetables, food that is good for them, but not their preference. More mature people, however, will gladly prefer broccoli over candy, fish over ice cream, steak over chocolate. As we mature, our appetite changes. We are more interested in accepting responsibility than shifting it to others. We would rather serve than be served. We prefer to give than receive. We would rather embrace discipline than live without boundaries. We would rather learn significant truth than be entertained. We would rather deny ourselves than fulfil our desires.
In the Christian walk, we need to be those who are engaged in leading others in some area. The responsibility of leadership is the best context for growth.
The number one step to take is to get free from the past, to make the decision to break free from the things that hold you in the past or drag you back to your past.
FREEDOM ALLOWS US TO GROW
People get stuck in their past because:
They won’t let go the offence they experienced,
They refuse to forgive,
Or they want revenge.
They continue to blame everyone else for everything that happened. This then means they’re unable to take a hold of their life for the future.
Once we are ‘set free’ from those things in our past that have held on to us, we need to then begin taking steps forward. As we make decisions we take steps. This is called forward traction. It’s momentum.
The most powerful way to become unstuck is to decide to leave whatever it is that is holding you back.
As long as we hold on to things that are holding on to us, they will have the power to stop us moving forward.
You have a free will. It’s your choice, but you will find it’s God’s power that will set you free, not yours. God will not make the decision for you. That’s your part. But as soon as you do, He will empower you to fulfil the decision you’ve made.
Some of the things we often need to let go of include:
Sin. Things that are wrong. We know they’re wrong, but because of the pleasure we get we don’t want to let them go. We’re not prepared to deny ourselves.
Habit. Sometimes we just do something every day because it’s a habit we have. We don’t even enjoy it any more.
Grudges. Holding on to a grudge will only hurt you. Brooding anger breeds depression.
Relationships. There are some relationships we know we need to move on from. When we’re with them we do things we shouldn’t, we get dragged down and backward.
Burdens. We don’t realise how heavy the burdens we carry are until we reject them, repent from them and bring them into the light, so the blood of Christ can cleanse us.
After you’ve been in the dirt, and sweat, and heat, one of the most wonderful feelings is being washed clean with a fresh water shower. This is what repentance does for our soul.
Repentance is to confess your wrongs to God. When we bring our sin to God, we come into the light.
‘For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.’
THE POWER OF ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY
It’s difficult to come to the light when we’ve done wrong.We would rather blame someone else, or something else, than accept responsibility ourselves.
Develop strength of character in you to face those difficult situations and
Help you accept responsibility, not just for the good things that happen in your life, but also the bad.
Believe it or not, this is the key to having authority in life. This is the key to ruling in life. It’s a law of life that your authority will equal your responsibility.
The impact of your life in this world will depend on the level of responsibility you are prepared to accept, for the good and the bad.
The beautiful nature of repentance is that it’s a gift from God that can be lost if we harden our heart against getting right with God.
Hebrews 12:17 tells us that when Esau realised he had done wrong , he tried to feel sorry for his sin, but couldn’t. He wanted to repent but he couldn’t. He had hardened his heart so far that there was no sorrow in him.
Repentance is just a doorway. Faith is the living room. We live by faith. But to get to faith, we have to go through the door of repentance.
This then leads to forgiveness.
When we’ve felt guilty for so long, it can be hard to accept forgiveness. It can be hard to feel forgiven. It’s a lot easier to feel guilty than it is to feel forgiven.
But once you have repented from your sin and gotten right God, you need to forget your sins. God has, so should you!
‘As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.’
‘Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.’
Accept the fact that you are forgiven.
Sometimes we aren’t prepared to forgive ourselves. We expect perfection from ourselves.
Cut yourself some slack today. You’re human. You make mistakes. Jesus identifies with you. He forgives you, cleanses you, accepts you, makes you whole, and seats you with Himself in Heaven.