LORD of all
Scripture: (Revelation 1:8 KJV) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Jesus Christ is LORD of all. He is the LORD of the past, the present and the future. We have all read the poem about the footprints in the sand where Jesus carried us through the hard times. After a recent leadership summit I came to the realization of the sovereign hand of God in my past, even in the real tough times. A lot of times we as Christians look at events in our past and pray that God forgive us for our failures and shortcomings. And by His grace He does but what I have discovered is that it was also by His grace that He allowed us to make the mistakes that we did. This in no way is meant to give any justification or rationalization for our past sins. Sin is sin and it is sin that keeps us separated from God and all the blessings that He has prepared for us. But stay with me and I hope that as you discover that God is the LORD of your past you will be able to better see His will for your life and the wonderful plan He has for you.
Let's start by looking at Joseph. There he is as a young boy with big dreams only to be put down and sold out by his own flesh and blood. But he does not loose faith. Even while working like a slave for Potiphar he rose to a position of honor. Then again he was unjustly treated, this time by a woman. And I don't think I have to tell you how much trouble a woman can get you into. (Just joking. right!) Now he finds himself in prison. While most people would give up and turn bitter Joseph once again excels and becomes a model prisoner. Continuing to trust in the LORD Joseph soon, not only is set free but is given the right hand position of the king. As Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, after testing their repentance, he gives us this most memorable passage of scripture.
(Genesis 50:20 KJV) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
basically what Joseph was telling us is that what ever has happened to us in the past, no matter how bad it was God is still the one on the throne. What the enemy has meant for evil God can turn into good.
Now, all of us have had things happen in our past that were unjust. Many of us are still suffering from the pain of the past. We can either allow the circumstances of the past to hold us down and even destroy us, or we can use them as a springboard to our breakthrough. God is the LORD of your past as well as your future when you make Him LORD of your eternal present.
By truly making Jesus the LORD of your life you can give Him your past as well as your future right now.
In the leadership summit this past week we learned how the goal of examining our past experiences and life situations combined with developing an intimacy with God and integrity in our lives bring about ministry and life maturity all of which will lead to what the instructors called convergence. Yah! it sounded like a lot of psycho-babble to me at first too. But then I like that kind of stuff. In reality what they were doing is taking the ideas of psychology and putting them in a biblical perspective where they developed a Biblical study of a focused life. What the psychologist called self actualization they have termed convergence. By looking at it we can see the process that God has used to take ordinary men and woman and do extra ordinary things through them.
That is what God wants to do in your life. He wants to make your life shine forth His glory in a way that you never dreamed possible.
(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.
Entering into the blessing of the LORD begins by getting a right perspective on your past. Trust me, I know that a lot of us have suffered genuine tragedies in this imperfect world. We have lost children, spouses, parents, and friends. There have been wars and terrorist attracts, fatal diseases and unspeakable abuses in our pasts. But these tragedies do not have to keep us from living a productive, prosperous joy filled life with a deep intimate relationship with God and walking with integrity among our fellow men.
Overcoming the past begins by acknowledging that you have been hurt. You have to go through the grieving process before the healing can take place. But know this, God is the God that heals and He can heal you everywhere you hurt. So start by acknowledging the pain then go on to forgive the people involved no matter how hard that might be and even if you yourself are among the ones that you need to forgive. Today might just be the day that you turn the hurts from the past into the breakthrough for the future. An amazing thing can take place when we get a fresh perspective, a positive perspective on our past. We can see clearer the direction in which God has been leading us. We can discover where we can minister to others that may be going through some of the same things that we already came through. We are then given the privilege of being Jesus with skin on and helping someone through the sands of time.
(2 Corinthians 1:3&4 KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who
comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which
are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Jesus summed this up for us so well. He told us that the greatest commandment was to love the LORD our God with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds and the second was to love our neighbor as ourselves. Ministry is love in action. You see the point of these messages is for you to take the word of God, mix it with faith and put it into action. So it begins with an intimate close relationship with God. I have so desired that relationship. Thinking about it today I realized that simply by keeping the commandments will not develop that relationship. But not keeping them will assure that I do not develop that closeness that my soul desires. I think that is the difference between the law and grace. Yes you have to be obedient to the commands of God but by desiring the intimacy with God you will thankfully keep His commands. Then when you do develop that intimate relationship with the God of all creation and He pours out His Holy Spirit upon you, you will receive that dynamic power that raises that which was dead to life. It is the Spirit of the living God that renews our spirit and we reach beyond our own talents and abilities and achieve unthought of heights of accomplishments for His glory.
(Ephesians 3:14-21 KJV) For this cause I bow my knees unto
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and
earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may
dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May
be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that
ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Let me bring this back to the beginning and we can work it out together with the help of the Spirit of God. We need to realize that Jesus Christ is the LORD of all or He is not LORD at all. That means that He is LORD of our past. That means that He is able to redeem even the most difficult events and turn that which the enemy has meant for evil into good. But it is going to take us being willing to look at those events and incidents and turn them over to Him and do what Jesus did and forgive. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Freely give that which you have been freely given. Forgive and be set free. Forgive yourself, forgive your parents, forgive them all and you will be the one who is set free. Then look at those events and all the other things that you have been through, and see where you are going. It can be so encouraging just to take a step back and see that you are still on the way somewhere. You have not arrived. You have not given up. God has not given up on you. His plan is being worked out in your life. Now seeing where you are going you maybe can take a more active roll in getting there.
Look at where you came from. See where you are going. Think
about how you can get there. Let the LORD be LORD of every area of your life.
When you do, you will find a new hope, a new beginning, a fresh start. For He
makes all things new. Life is in Him, Abundant life. Let go of that which has
been holding you back from Him. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which
doth easily beset us. He is waiting even right now with His arms open wide. Run
into His arms and find your true purpose in life; to be loved by Him.