7 Things About Your Past To Assure You A Prosperous Future

. .

I’m going to say eighteen words. . .if you get nothing else from this teaching but those eighteen words. . .your life will never be the same.

When I say “get it”. . .I mean. . .”get it”. . .deep down inside. . .so that no circumstance or problem can ever cause you to forget this powerful truth. . .even in the heat of battle.

Are you ready?  I want you to say it out loud with me.  Ready?

“God will never do a new thing in my life. . .as long as I’m holding onto the past.”

Need a confirming scripture?  2 Corinthians 5:17 says:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

You must get rid of the old. . .to ever embrace the new.

Let’s look at 7 things about your past to assure you a prosperous future.

1.         You’ve got a past

Where you are today. . .is a result of the choices you made yesterday.  Where you will be tomorrow will be the result of the choices you make today.

Now I fully realize that some of you are dealing with situations today because of choices dysfunctional family members made for you yesterday.

However, what happened to you in the past doesn’t give you an excuse for your behavior in the future.

If you’re drawing a breath on planet earth. . .I’m confident there some things in your past that you’re not particularly proud of. . .but it’s now history.

A couple of days ago, I was riding along with my fine wife Bev and we were discussing how some people go on and on about things in the past.

I laughed as the following popped into my mind. . .which I later posted on my social media sites.

“I don't like hash so why would I ever rehash anything. Don't bring something up and keep chewing on it unless you're a cow.”

Humorous but true.

Your past. . .the old thing that’s passing away. . .was never designed to enslave you to where you are. . .doing what you’ve been doing.  The night of your past is turning to day.

Romans 13:12 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“Night is almost over, and day will soon appear. We must stop behaving as people do in the dark and be ready to live in the light.”

It’s time for you to live in the light of his Word.

2.         You can’t change the past

What’s done is done. . .but you can change the consequences of your future by decisions you make today.

Oscar Wilde, the great playwright, said:

“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.”

There’s no need to change your past. . .when it’s been forgiven.  God is ready to do a new thing in your life.

Isaiah 43:18-19 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

If you’ve messed up…fess up…get up and move on.

Romans 8:25 in the New Living Translation says:

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.”

I’m going to say this one more time. . .not only are you unable to change the past. . .you don’t need to. . .because you’ve been forgiven.

3.         You can’t blame the past

There is never a winner when you play the blame game. . .even if your behavior makes you the Most Valuable Player of the game.

If you’d only done this. . .yes, but if you’d only done that.

Do you know who wins in such a conversation?  If you say, “nobody”. . .you’d be wrong.  The enemy of your soul. . .WINS.

Hosea 4:4 in the New Living Translation says:

“Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you.”

One more thing. . .don’t blame your parents, your teachers, your friends or lack thereof, your lack of education or opportunity. . .if you’re good at placing blame or making excuses. . .you’ll never be good at anything else.

More about this in a minute.

4.         You don’t need to be controlled by your past

Let’s establish another absolute fact.

God will never remind you of your past. . .Do you see that? He can’t. . .He’s forgotten it.

Here are two confirming scriptures.

First, Hebrews 8:12 in the New Living Translation says:

“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

Second, Jeremiah 31:34 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“No longer will they have to teach one another to obey me. I, the Lord, promise that all of them will obey me, ordinary people and rulers alike. I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done.”

At this moment. . .you should be asking yourself the obvious question.

If God is not reminding me of my past. . .then who is?

The answer is painfully obvious . . .the accuser of the brethren. . .the devil of debt, lack and everything else evil and/or bad.

Job 2:1 in the New Living Translation says:

“One day the members of the heavenly court came again to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.”

Why would you ever allow something that’s been forgiven and forgotten distract you from your future successes?

Philippians 3:13 in The New Living translation says:

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

5.         You must take responsibility for your past

If you continue to blame everyone else for your mistakes. . .you’ll never become what God intended you to be.

I have far greater respect for someone who takes responsibility for their mistakes then someone who tries to cover them up or shift the blame to someone else.

Proverbs 28:13 in The Living Bible offers good advice we need to listen to:

“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”

The best approach, in fact, the scriptural approach is just to fess up when we make a mistake.

1 John 1:9-10 in The Living Bible says:

“But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.] If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.”

By confessing your sins. . .you’re heading in the right direction. . .His.

Proverbs 24:15-16 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them.  No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.”

Joe Louis, the famous Heavyweight Champion of the world, once said:

“If like knocks you down. . .try to land on your back. . .because if you can look up. . .you can get up.”

6.         You must change

You will be judged by your reputation of the past until you do something to change your reputation of the future.

If you're willing to change . . . things will change. If you're not. . .they won't.

Don't worry about changing other people...change yourself and you'll be amazed at how quickly they change.

The only way to effectively change your circumstances is for you to personally change how you look at them.

TODAY...do the things necessary to change your future into the reality you desire.

Wayne Dyer, the motivational speaker and author, said:

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

Don’t worry about things you can’t change. Don’t fret about today or tomorrow. Change the things you can and let God deal with the rest.

Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible says:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

President John F. Kennedy said:

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future."

God has a bright future planned for you. . .don’t miss it by living in the past and refusing to change for the future.

7.         You must not let your past define you

Never allow your past to determine your future.

Patrick Henry, the American patriot, said:

"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

You can’t change your past. . .but you can re-direct your future.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great American poet, said:

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now.”

Proverbs 24:14 in the New Living Translation says:

“In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.”

Denis Waitley, the author and motivational speaker, said:

“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.”

Habakkuk 2:3 in the New Living Translation says:

“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

One more thing. . .don’t let people you’ve known in the past. . .try to keep you where you were before.

You’re past is forgiven and forgotten. . .you’re ready for a new thing and you’re never looking back.