Our flesh has a perverse desire to dwell in the past. How many times have you entertained past scenes through your mind? Rehearsing what might have been is non productive. “If only…” is futile mental gymnastics that fatigues our brain.
James addressed this issue as a temptation. James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
We are enticed with the perversity of futility. It doesn’t make logical sense to keep recirculating our past through our thoughts. Yet we continue to do it. When I fly, I turn off the air vent. Why? I don’t want to breathe in the recirculated germ filled air.
God told Balaam that his way was perverse. Perversity is contrary to truth. Here is eternal truth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Our past is passed. We cannot go back and change it. We only keep it alive through our thoughts. When we dwell in our past, we are shunning God’s truth. Romans 1:18 says, “…who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Anything that opposes God’s word is unrighteousness. The Amplified says, “…who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.”
1 John 1:6 in the Amplified says, “(So) if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are (both) speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth (which the Gospel presents).”
The moment we were saved, according to John 5:24, we passed from death to life. Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
Salvation brought us up and out of the miry clay pit. Psalm 40:2 says, “…and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
We are new creations. We dwell in the present, with a living hope focused on eternity with the Lord. How then shall we live? Paul’s example is key. Philippians 3:13 says, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
Forgetting and reaching is a fluid motion. We are not stuck in our past. We have been delivered from dwelling in the darkness of sin. We are children of His Light. Romans 13:12 says, “…Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
We cast off and put on through our thoughts. The moment we think a certain thought, we can instantly change to another thought. When we hide God’s word in our heart, it permeates our thought process.
Here is one example. If we have Philippians 4:13 woven into the fabric of our heart, it will be there for instant recall. The moment we think “I can’t” we can instantly replace that thought with “I can” because His resurrection power is within us.
The caterpillar used to crawl and eat leaves. When it died in the cocoon, its past was passed. It was transformed into a totally new creation. God created the butterfly to fly and drink nectar from flowers. Before salvation we were enslaved to think only sin filled thoughts. Salvation freed us to have the mind of Christ, so every thought is a choice.