Winter blues. Mid-life crisis. Whatever label I want to put on it, my thoughts were continually on the past— the what ifs, the should haves, the I wishes; longing for a do-over. Mentally beating myself up over failures and wasted time, I was slowly sinking into a pit of self-condemnation. I was there long enough that I started to feel stuck. Powerless. Useless. Depressed.
One night I had a dream. I don’t remember the details of the dream itself, but what I do remember is I woke with a start to a stern voice saying, “If you keep looking back, you can’t move forward! Remember Lot’s wife?”– reminding me of the story of Lot and his wife being spared from certain destruction, leaving Sodom and Gomorrah before it was destroyed for its godless, sinful depravity. Lot’s wife, in spite of the angel’s warning not to, turned to look back and turned into a pillar of salt. A pillar of salt. With my thoughts filled with my perception of what I was not, instead of what God says I am becoming, my self-condemnation was rendering me inert; unable to move forward, anchored in place as I focused on my past and my perceived failings. Much like a pillar of salt.
I spent my waking moments –moments that stretched into an hour– talking to God and asking for His help out of the pit I’d allowed myself to slip into. I realized I had been allowing Satan’s whispered words of condemnation to cloud the beautiful redemption of Jesus Christ and effectively making me ineffective.
God didn’t send Jesus to the cross as a sacrifice for my sins to have me continue to wallow in them! Neither does he want me, you, any of us to keep looking back, whether in longing, or regret. He wants us to move forward with Him, trusting our future with Him. He has empowered us, as new creations in Him, to live free. Free from the condemnation that would hold us paralyzed in the past.
Moving forward in Him ~Lisa
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”