I think those old,leather luggage trunks are so cool,especially the ones that have those travel stickers plastered all over them, like this one…
One can only imagine the stories this trunk could tell,and the countless memories made in far away, exotic places would no doubt be joyfully shared for years to come. Think of the adventures! Each one of those old stickers is a story,and when you add them all up they would make quite a novel!.
Did you know that all of us have our own collection of stickers? That’s right,even if you’ve never left your home town you have them. And just like those on the travel trunk above,our stickers tell a great story. Stickers of a different sort,stickers of our life’s journey. Yours might look like the one above,or it might look like this one…
Here’s the thing about these stickers. They represent events of the past,both happy and sad. Events that we cannot change or wish away. Events that are burned indelibly in our hearts and minds. Some wonderful,some not. Either way,they are part of who we are. And while all of us would like to focus on those happy stickers,the truth is that we often spend more time thinking about the not so happy ones.
Not that anyone needs reminded of this,but the devil does a great job of bringing past, painful memories back to life. Painful memories are one of his chief weapons in the battle for our souls. Do you know why this is? Because they are extremely effective at stopping our forward momentum in Christ,often to the point of paralyzing us.
Scripture reminds us that the weapons of our warfare are nor carnal (II Cor.10:4). That is because our battles are not carnal,but spiritual,and are fought with mind and spirit. Paul understood this, and to the believers at Philippi he offered the following as the guiding philosophy that drove him onward…
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, Philippians 3:13.NKJV
Maybe,like me,your life is plastered with stickers that remind us of things we wish we had never done,or that things had not been done to us. As an example,a lot of the stickers on the second trunk are my own. And I left off the really bad ones.
Perhaps,again like me,you struggle with the whole “forgetting those things which are behind”. If so,here’s a different perspective on the subject that I would like to share with you.
Many times when we read the Bible we lose sight of the fact that these men were not super human. Rather,they were cut from the same cloth as you and I. Still,we wonder how Paul could say that he had forgotten the things of his past. It doesn’t seem possible,does it?
Well,I don’t believe he ever forgot them completely. And I can absolutely guarantee you that Satan never stopped reminding him of them. When he said “forgetting those things which are behind” he meant that those events would always be a part of him,but they would never define him.
Though always present,Paul chose not to allow his stickers to hinder him from fulfilling God’s plan for his life. They had been set aside,placed on the back burner,a part of his life that while reachable,he no longer considered them essential to his mission.
What do you choose to do with your stickers?
Our vision of those things which are in front of us,blessings,joy,peace,and ultimately our salvation,is marred by the painful reminders of our past that are pasted like stickers on a baggage trunk.
Here then,is the secret to dealing with those unpleasant stickers. When we endure bad things,the memories of the event are forever etched into our minds. But like Paul,those events do not,can not define us because we are new creatures in Christ Jesus.
That God has done a new work in our hearts and lives is cause to rejoice! Do you agree with me that we sometimes forget this? We should be shouting that “I’m not the same any more”!
We should never forget that the battles of today are strengthening us for tomorrow.We know what to expect from the enemy,we know how he works, but more importantly we also know what our God can do!
Through Jesus the way has been made for us to live an abundant life ( John 10:10). A life of pressing toward the mark of our high calling in Jesus.
In spite of those stickers that have attached themselves to our lives!
Special thanks to my daughter Lindsey for her help with the artwork! You should check out her blog at https://thelindseyvibe.wordpress.com/.