“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
One of the greatest blessings God has given us is our new life in Christ. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We become new creations and are born again. Therefore, it only makes sense that we focus on what’s ahead of us in life instead of what’s behind us.
However, that’s not always easy. The Bible calls the enemy the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10) He wants us to remember our past, especially our failures. If he can keep people living in their past, they will be ineffective in their present and that will affect their future. We cannot allow the enemy to steal our future.
Yet, the past isn’t a bad thing. It serves us a great purpose. We can learn many valuable lessons from our past and we should refer to it for guidance. For example, when I was 14 I was in a very horrific car accident. A drunk man attempted to walk across a highway-type road that had five lanes of traffic. The car in front of us barely missed him and unfortunately, my mom couldn’t stop the car fast enough. The man died upon impact.
I still remember it as clear as day and because of that, I obey all the traffic laws. I do the speed limit. I don’t use the phone while driving. My eyes do not leave the road. That’s because I understand that something could suddenly appear in front of my vehicle.
Many of us have experiences like this: things we’ve gone through that benefit us because of what we learned. That being said, there are ways the enemy would use our past against us. In this post, I’m going to go over three ways the enemy tries to do that.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Reminds People Of Their Past Mistakes
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.“
– Hebrews 8:12
A lot of born-again believers have really rough pasts. That’s okay. The Bible tells us that the Lord not only forgives us for our sins but forgets them altogether. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense that we let them go and forget them as well?
Some people beat themselves up over the past and continue to feel guilty, but Jesus completely removed our sins from us. It’s important to forgive yourself for your former mistakes, repent, and move onto the future.
During this journey of self-forgiveness (and even after), the enemy will try his hardest to remind us of the past we so desperately want to forget. He does this to play mind games with us. Of course, he doesn’t want us to live the life Jesus died to give us.
But you don’t have to play in those games. You can cast down those bad thoughts and replace them with scriptures. Whenever the enemy tries to remind you of your past, worship the Lord for His lovingkindness, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.“
– Matthew 6:14-15
Living with unforgiveness in your heart is like poison. It slowly destroys your life and fills you with all sorts of negative emotions. The worst thing about it is that it doesn’t affect whoever did you wrong. You’re the only one who suffers for not forgiving someone of their wrongs against you.
Holding onto bitterness and resentment is similar to putting a curse on yourself. You’re allowing someone and a past interaction to have control over you. Therefore, the enemy has a tool he can use to instantly make you upset.
The Word of God tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. If the enemy has a way to steal that joy, he can make you weak in a second.
A good way to convince yourself to forgive is to remember all that the Lord has forgiven you for. You’re certainly not deserving of forgiveness- no one is! Forgiveness is a gift. Someone could try their hardest to make things right and unless the other person forgives them, it will all be in vain.
Whenever someone wrongs you, they’re sinning against the Lord. That’s why God tells us that vengeance belongs to Him. (Romans 12:19) Although we may be the ones hurting, God sees and will make all things work out for our good.
We’re all flawed human beings. Pray for those who hurt you because The Lord is a loving Father who does not enjoy seeing His children hurt.
Exalting Past Victories
“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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.“
– Philippians 3:13-14
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the enemy will try to use your past successes against you. Just because something worked in the past does not mean that it will work again. Just because something has worked for someone else does not mean it will work for us. God has plenty of ways of making things work. In fact, Isaiah 55:9 states the Lord’s ways are higher than ours.
We cannot live in our past- not even in our successful moments. We have to learn from God because every day is a new day. I’ll give you an example of when I made this mistake.
My first job was in a restaurant and I loved that job. I was good at what I did and was quickly moving up the ranks. However, we got a new general manager who was mean, rude, belittling, and a thief. I swiftly decided I wasn’t going to put up with it and I left the job.
Immediately after, I went looking for another job. I remember praying about it and God telling me that my time in a kitchen was over. As you can imagine, I didn’t want to hear that. Therefore, I ignored God and got a job in another kitchen. I only lasted about three weeks.
That job was awful. The employees were mean, it was more complicated, and I really did not like the way the kitchen smelled. Afterward, I went to God and repented for not listening to Him.
You see, what worked before didn’t work again. Different seasons call for different actions.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.“
– Proverbs 3:5-6
The enemy will try his best to keep us living in the past in order to divert us from reaching our full potential. It’s extremely important we learn how to recognize these attacks and defeat them at their onset.
The three ways Satan tries to use your past against you are:
- To remind you of your past mistakes.
- Keep you holding onto unforgiveness.
- To keep you living in your past victories.
I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading!
You May Also Like: Why Does God Tell Us To Pray For Our Enemies?