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Title : How to break free from the guilt of your past By : Pastor Reinhard Westphal
God has a great future planed for you, but you will not be able to fully enter into it if you don't break free from your past. God wants you to leave your past behind you and focus on your future with courage, hope and great expectations! God is serious about setting you free from your past. Are you?

The good news is that God will help you to leave your past where it belongs: in the past. Yes, he will help you, but He is not doing it for you. He wants this victory to be your victory and not His. But in the process of breaking free from your past He is going to be your strength and your help.

If I would keep my focus on my past I would be the most miserable man on earth. But I learned over and over and still do to this day what to do, when the enemy confronts me with the things of my past. I learned this lesson from the Apostle Paul.

He writes in Philippians 3:14 "No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear (focus) on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race...(to win it)."

I always wondered what the Apostle needed to forget. Did he get drunk every second day? I don't think so. Was he addicted to drugs? No! What was it then that he wanted to forget so badly? One day it occurred to me. It was him who was responsible for the death of so many Christians. Can you imagine, Paul preaching up a storm in one of the churches and there, in the front row sits this lady and he remembers that it was him, the great Apostle Paul, who handed her husband over to the authorities for execution. And here he preaches about how believers should love one another... Do you get the picture?

How did Paul deal with his past? Did he pray: "Please, God, take my past away from me?" Did he go to some other preacher and ask him to cast the 'spirit of the past' out of him? Did he go and see a counselor for six month? No! No! No!

You need to understand that Paul did not concentrate on 'forgetting' the past. He knew that he could not make his past go away - never to be remembered any more. What he is saying here in Philippians is this: I will use all my energy, my power and my will to do this one thing; I will not focus any more on my past, but I will use all my energy and will to focus on my future, on God's plan for my life and most important on running and winning the race!

The self-improvement gurus penned the term: Interrupting an old thought pattern in order to change. When Paul was plagued with his past he did not dwell on it but he changed his focus from past to future. He started thinking about God's calling in his life. He focused on the work that still needed to be done. He focused on his congregations and their needs. He wrote letters while in prison and encouraged his fellow believers. When he felt bad he did good. When his past took hold of him he shook it off and said: "I'm off and running and I'm not turning back"!

That my dear friends is true victorious Christian living. That is how you break free from the guilt of your past. Your past is not going to float away in some miraculous way. No angel will come and remove some infected brain cells in the Name of Jesus!

No! You must change your focus! When you feel bad and down, start doing something good and worthwhile! Take your eyes of yourself and do something good for someone else. Do little acts of kindness. Volunteer and do something in your church. Go help in your local food bank. Give a homeless person not just a coin but a bill and tell him that God loves him. That will make you feel good.

I am sure you have experienced this yourself: You had this terrible headache. It was bothering you all morning long. And then you got so involved in the task you were doing, you where concentrating on finding a solution to a problem - and you forgot all about your headache, it was actually gone. You changed your focus from headache and feeling bad to concentrating on creating something, helping someone or getting excited over some progress you made.

Paul says in Philippians 4:8+9
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious— the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies"

After he tells us what we should focus on he makes one thing very clear: Put into practice what you learned. That's it, friends! Reading this article will not help you breaking free from your guilt of the past. You have to get active! If you really want to leave your past behind, then get Philippians 3:14 and 4:8-9 into your heart, mind and spirit and put it into practice. You have God's and my guaranty: IT WORKS!

Let's sum it up. If you will not get your focus off your past you will be spiritually paralyzed, unable to move anymore. Think of Lot's wife who turned into a pillar of salt because she was not willing to turn away from her past life.

Let me assure you that God has a great and wonderful future planned for you. You have a divine purpose. God's calling is on your life. God has marvelous and wonderful ideas for your life. Do you want it? If your answer is an honest "yes" then do like the Apostle Paul. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself over your past step out and run that race that God has called you to run. Don't be half-hearted but press on forward! God has called you to win the race.

Start seeing yourself as the winner. Picture yourself running the victory lap - and all of heaven is standing up und cheering you on. Please promise me that you will make God proud of you.
I pray for you, my dear readers that with God’s help you will change from “feeling bad” to “doing good.”

God is going to pour out buckets full of blessings over your life. Keep on running and keep on winning!

Pastor Reinhard wants you to enter into a life without guilt and condemnation and to experience God’s Goodness every day of your life. Get his free MP3 teaching “The Jonah-Virus - how to defuse your anger” as Pastor Reinhard’s gift for reading this article.
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