Are you dealing with ghosts? I’m not talking about the kind that comes out at Halloween or in some goofy Hollywood movie.
Popular culture is filled with talk of ghosts. . .even television programs like Ghost Whisperer and movies like Ghostbusters. . .which I understand is being updated.
This teaching isn’t about any of the foolishness currently the rage on cable TV.
When I mention the word ghosts I’m speaking about something from the past (sin or otherwise) which you feel is real though it isn’t visible to you or anyone else.
It is not God’s intent for us to be haunted by memories of things gone by.
No matter. . .how inhumane, degrading, sickening or horrible your sins of the past were. . .God forgives them. . .all.
If we’re haunted by the memories of forgiven past sins. . .the battle is being played out in the our minds. . .by the enemy of our destiny.
I’ve had people say to me. . .I know God has forgiven me but my past sins are just too great. . .I can’t forgive myself.
Let’s put this in perspective.
First, why should we hold onto something that God has forgiven and forgotten?
Isaiah 43:25 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 43:25 says:
“But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that's what I do. I don't keep a list of your sins.”
How can God bring up your past sins. . .if He doesn’t remember them or even keep a list of them?
Hebrews 10:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”
Second, if God has forgiven and forgotten our sins. . .why should we hold onto them?
Before God forgave our sins. . .He knew every sordid detail. . .He was fully aware of the darkness in our hearts. . .but yet He forgave us ALL our sins.
But as we’ve just shared our sins have been forgiven and forgotten.
I can assure you on the authority of God’s Word. . .if sins from our past come back to our remembrance. . .it’s not God doing so. . .it’s the devil.
By entertaining those thoughts of past forgiven sins. . .we are allowing the enemy to establish a stronghold in our minds.
And that would be a HUGE mistake.
Third, who gave us the authority to forgive our sins?
When a person tells me. . .they can’t forgive themselves. My question is: who gave you the authority to forgive sin?
Nowhere in scripture does it say that we’re to forgive ourselves.
If we try to forgive ourselves then we are attempting the impossible because we do not have the right, authority or power to do so.
When we sin. . .it’s against God. It’s against His Word. God is the offended party and He must do the forgiving.
Romans 3:20 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For no person will be justified [freed of guilt and declared righteous] in His sight by [trying to do] the works of the Law. For through the Law we become conscious of sin [and the recognition of sin directs us toward repentance, but provides no remedy for sin].”
Fourth, there’s a difference between regret and repentance.
When we sin. . .we most often feel sorrow and guilt. . .because we have a God-given conscience.
2 Corinthians 7:10 in the New Living Translation says:
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
There is Godly sorrow which leads to repentance and forgiveness.
I’ve often said there’s a difference between regret and repentance. Regret is worldly sorrow because we got caught or over what we lost.
Godly sorrow. . .brings repentance and lasting change.
Fifth, God gives us a new beginning. . .a fresh start.
Acts 3:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day].”
When the enemy brings up guilt. . .start praying specifically for others you know to be saved. The last thing the enemy wants you to do is pray for others.
No matter how many times this happens. . .pray for the salvation of others and I GUARANTEE YOU your prayer of salvation will chase away the thoughts of guilt every time.
Bottom line. . .don’t let the ghosts of your past haunt the possibilities of your future.
Let’s spend a few minutes talking about what the scripture has to say about ghosts.
And for the record, there are a lot of Christians who faithfully attend church and believe in God. . .who also believe in ghosts.
Matthew 14:25-27 in the New International Version says:
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
Jesus did not believe in ghosts; He knew the truth, but His superstitious apostles had evidently bought into that folk tale.
When they encountered something they couldn't understand, they immediately assumed it was a ghost.
Luke 24:37-39 in the New International Version says:
“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
While this is a bit off subject. . .I feel led to deal with some myths and questions people ask about ghosts.
Can the dead haunt houses?
Job 7:9-10 in the New King James Version says:
“As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore."
Can the dead come back and communicate with the living?
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 in the New King James Version says:
“For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.”
If people die without closure or unfinished business. . .do they become ghosts and hang around haunt the places and people they knew in life?
Psalm 146:4 in the English Standard Version says:
"When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”
The only ghost that’s real...is the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 28:18 says:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Matthew 10:1 says:
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
Luke 10:19 says:
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Acts 1:8 says:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Acts 2:38 says:
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 19:6 says:
“And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
The only Ghost you need to concern yourself with is the Holy Ghost. . .and He’s erased your past and is awaiting your future.
And by the way, the Holy Ghost won’t come trick or treating to your door.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS