Live Beyond Your Past

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Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 4:7 NLT)

 

The African elephant is the largest land animal in the world. In 1956, the largest elephant ever recorded was found in Angola, weighing in at 12,000 kilograms, with a shoulder height of 14 feet! These enormous creatures have incredible strength. In Africa, elephants routinely knock over entire trees just to get to the tender branches they like to eat. In India, angry elephant herds have been known to push railway trains off their tracks!

I find it totally amazing that such a powerful animal could ever find itself in captivity. Yet we see them all the time in circuses and zoos all around the world. Despite how incredibly powerful these animals are, they have a weakness. You see, an elephant never forgets!

For elephants in captivity, while they are young, each night they are tied to a tree with a strong chain around their foot. The baby elephant wants to roam and struggles instinctively with all its might to be free, yet because of its small size and weight, it cannot break the chain. After many nights of struggle and failure, this defeat is etched into the young elephant’s mind and they no longer resist.

When the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied with just a small rope to a stake. This powerful 12,000 kilogram animal could easily break free from its captivity yet its mind has been conditioned through its past experiences and failures to believe resistance is futile. So it doesn’t even make an attempt!

God’s Word tells me that I have been forgiven of all my sins and washed clean by the blood of Jesus. It says I am a new creation. I have been made righteous. I am more than a conqueror, I can do all things and that when God is for me who can stand against me.

It says that I was once a slave to sin but Jesus has set me free.

We read that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for a purpose beyond anything we could ever dream, hope or imagine.

Yet despite all that we hear and all that we read, despite all that Jesus has done for us and His complete work at Calvary, we often allow our past experiences and failures to hold us captive. We still think like slaves when God calls us sons and daughters! We are very much like those huge, powerful elephants, held in captivity by a simple thought.

Jesus tells the story of a father who had two sons and the younger son leaves home to pursue a life of reckless living. When the son finally comes to his senses and returns home, his father embraces him, hugs him and doesn’t stop kissing him. He then proceeds to restore to his son everything he had lost. This extravagant act of love from the father is a picture of our Heavenly Father’s love for you and I.

He doesn’t see us as runaways. He doesn’t point out our failures and shortcomings. Instead He embraces us as His dearly loved child. He welcomes us home and in an act of unspeakable grace, He restores to us a life we thought we had lost, one we sometimes feel unworthy to receive, one full of purpose and hope.

Your past is not greater than His grace. If today you feel ‘less than’ the person God has destined you to be, perhaps you have allowed a little thought to hold you captive and keep you from being the powerful child of God you are meant to be.

God has so much more for you.

 

Extra scriptures
1 Cor 5;17
1 Cor 2.9
Luke 15:11-24

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