Our experiences, to a large degree, have made us who we are. But we are more than just our experiences, let alone our negative ones. There is a life in Christ waiting for us that goes beyond what we would limit ourselves to. “Laying down what’s done” doesn’t mean we forget the things in our past. And it certainly doesn’t mean we stop feeling anything when they come to mind (although hopefully we move on more quickly). It does mean that we no longer allow ourselves to own those things, and that we no longer allow them to own us.
By laying down the things of our past, they can become instruments for God to use for something far better, instead of the prison they’ve become for us. (And that goes for positive things as well; we’ll spend more time there in future weeks.) And very often, they become the means to bring deliverance and transformation to others, as we share how God has changed us in those areas—and maybe even by our vulnerability in confessing our willingness to be changed, even as we continue to work through those issues.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10, NIV).
All of us are “pieces of work” in some way. And all of us are works in progress. By being willing to lay down our baggage, we give God full permission to get on with the work He’s prepared us for since the day we were created. And we might be surprised by how far-reaching that work becomes.
Lay It Down Today
1) Take a chunk of time right now to think about how God has transformed one area of your life (or more). Spend some time thanking God for the changes He’s already brought in your life.
2) Or perhaps this devotional stirred up something you’d really thought/hoped you’d moved on from, where God needs to do an even deeper work. Spend some time bringing that issue up to God (and leaving it there). Allow Him to transform it.
Either way, think about this: How could sharing about your past enable someone else to get past theirs? If someone just came to mind, make time to share about it with that person. One thing to note: If it truly required—or requires, if it’s something you and God are dealing with right now—God’s intervention, it’s already important. That’s enough. So look for an opportunity to let God speak through your life, and let God take it from there.