A lot of people sit around beating themselves up for what they did not do but we must rise above this! If we’ve wasted time and blown it, we need to realize that God is merciful and will forgive us. It is not possible to recapture the lost time, but we can press forward just like Paul did when he was confronted by Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13 – 14
Paul had beaten and imprisoned Christians. He stood as a witness while Stephen was stoned (Acts 7:54-60) but he committed himself to “forget those things” which he had done to pursue the plan and purpose of God. If he could do that with all of the horrendous things he had done in the name of religion then we surely can as well!
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior our past was completely washed away. Our past only exists in our minds and it is vital that we allow the Holy Spirit to wash those memories with the Word if we are going to fulfill the plan and purpose of God.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
The story of the twelve spies provides us with another example of people who missed the plan of God because they chose to look at the natural circumstances. Twelve spies were sent into the promised land ahead of Israel on a reconnaissance mission. Ten of the twelve returned with what the Bible calls an “evil report”. They talked about walled cities and giants and their report opened the door for fear to enter the hearts of the people. It was time for them to go in and possess the promised land, but the people drew back because of fear. Only two of the spies returned with a good report but the people chose the report given by the other ten and missed the plan of God.
1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
3 And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
The nation chose the report that took them away from the plan of God. This resulted in them missing the blessings awaiting them in the promised land and they ended up wandering in the desert for another forty years! We should head this lesson because the devil will use circumstances and the report of our five physical senses to distract us from the plan of God if we will let him. Moses was called to lead Israel into the promised land but even he was disqualified from completing his plan as a result of yielding to the flesh which led to his disobeying the direction given by God.
6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.
7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Number 20:6 – 12
Moses was God’s first choice to lead Israel into the promised land but was disqualified because he yielded to fleshly anger and struck the rock instead of speaking to it. God chose Joshua to fulfil Moses calling just as he would call David to fulfil Saul’s. Neither Joshua or David were God’s first choice and their stories are something we should pay attention to. Moses accomplished more than most people have ever done in their entire lifetime, but he was still unable to complete the course God had set before him. How many ministers have we seen in our day who started out with a strong anointing but then lost their ministry? The Bible includes stories of people like Moses, Joshua, Saul, and David so that we can see that there has not been a single person who has ever done everything right. In the New Covenant we approach God through the blood of Jesus and are accepted as we are. If we will surrender to Him, He will be able to use us to fulfill the plan He crafted for our lives before we were born.
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