Lately, the Lord has been having me ministering to many Christians that have been struggling with past temptations and sins. It has been hindering their spiritual growth and their very identity in Christ. When this happens, a Christian can find themselves off-balanced spiritually and the enemy can and will start to cast doubt into our minds. For this very reason, I am writing this short message to help any Christians that are facing this same problem. God’s solution is revealed to us in the book of Colossians.
It is written, “Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. 3 For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,” (Colossians 3:1-4, AMP).
In this piece of Scripture, Paul is urging the Colossians Christians to continue in Christ. It is this very message that we find the solution to the problem of us struggling with our past lives. You see, when we first come to Christ we are freed from ceremonial laws, which means that we need to walk closely with Jesus in obedience to His gospel. As heaven and earth are contrary to one another, both cannot be followed together. This means that as we strengthen one we weaken the other. Either we can focus our lives on walking in the Spirit so we do not carry out the desires of the world or we walk in the flesh of our past (Galatians 5:16-17). It is for this reason that Paul reminds us to keep seeking things that are from above because that is where Jesus is.
When we can focus our life in Christ daily, we are not simply praying about our past issues but acting out in faith and obedience. Focusing on Jesus takes time and effort. However, this cannot happen when we are focused on things of the past. The old you is dead and you have been reborn in Christ. This is what Paul is teaching and this lesson needs to be acted upon to solve our problems today.
When you gave your sin and problems to Christ, remember that you did just that. It belongs to Him and Him alone. Stop trying to take it back. Forget about who you used to be and focus on living in who you are now. Living in your now is reminding yourself daily that you are not who you used to be and understanding that part of your life is dead and gone now. Focus on the new creation that you have become and focus on the Spirit living within you. This is the solution and it is that simple. Renew your mind daily and consistently remind yourself that you are new in Christ. In doing this, you will be feeding the Spirit living within you and weakening the fleshly desires or problems of your past. This is the only way we can solidify our identity in Christ and this is the only way to get out of our own way.
I pray that if anyone is struggling with their identity or feeling like they cannot fight against the desires of their flesh, please remember who you are in Christ. Remember that Jesus died for your sins and that we have already cost Him too much for Him to forget about us now. I pray that we can remind ourselves of this daily and walk-in reverence for His sacrifice. I pray that we can stop justifying the reasons why we are falling short and do something about it by fully submitting ourselves to Christ. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.