“If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices…I’d work to convince you…that your God may be able to forgive some people for some thing, but not you—not for this” Priscilla Shirer, Fervent
This post is part of the #RealWomenPray online Bible study series: “Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, Strategic Prayer” by Priscilla Shirer.
Instead of using our past mistakes as a learning opportunity either for ourselves or to teach others, we often try to bury it.
But, it won’t stay buried long. The enemy will use our forgiven past against us to keep us paralyzed by guilt, shame, and embarrassment.
He will replay all our past failures like a recorded tape—over and over again—in our mind to convince us we are unforgiven, unlovable, and condemned.
We should remember God’s grace and mercy that extended forgiveness from the cross down to us and put our past in the past and keeps it there—not burying it to be dug up all over again.
Often we allow ourselves to be caught in a cycle of regret because our past is unchangeable.
“Fervent strategic prayer can change things. Even unchangeable things.” (Fervent,page 95)
Prayer in itself does not change our past mistakes, but it does allows us to rise “above the sea level of satan’s assaults from our past.” (Fervent, page 95)
God doesn’t see us as the person we were, He sees who we are in Christ. (see Strategy #3 Identity)
If we have accepted Him as Savior, then we are forgiven and no longer guilty; covered by His grace, we on longer need to be ashamed.
God is able to forgive so much—even our past! Yes, even that!
“One of the qualities that makes the gospel so real and so great is that it doesn’t eliminate our past but just so thoroughly deals with it. God forgives it. he changes it. He transforms…So, now instead of being a reason for endless shame, guilt, and regret, our past is a reason for endless worship and free-flowing testimony.” (Fervent, page 99)
There are a couple scriptures in the Bible that describe satan as our accuser and show us how to overcome his lies
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! (ESV)
For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (ESV)
When satan tries to remind you of all your past mistakes, you can know that he is a liar and his objective is to accuse you of sins that have been forgiven.
Remember: Our winning strategy is the combination of God’s Word and prayer. Arm yourself with truth, God’s word and then PRAY like your life depends on it! (Eph. 6:14,17-18)
You may be feeling like no one understands how you feel because they don’t know the secrets you keep about your past. You have buried them so far away from people because you are embarrassed, ashamed, and afraid that you will never walk in your calling and purpose because you are scared of what other people would say about you if they knew…if they only knew.
But may I be bold and lovingly speak to your heart right now? Dear one, it does not matter what secrets your past holds, they are forgiven by a merciful, loving Jesus who stretched out on a cross and died to wipe away your past—forever. It doesn’t matter what other people will say or think about you, the only one that matters is the One that hung on that cross.
He waits with arms wide open to embrace you with forgiveness.
And if He can forgive you for your past, isn’t it time you forgive yourself?
Yes, I’m speaking to you. The one that feels the heavy weight of her sinful past—unspeakable secrets you have carried inside your heart for far too long.
- Write out every secret you have been carrying with you, afraid someone will one day trip over it and discover what you thought you buried.
- Write out every lie the enemy tells you about your present because of your past.
- Do you see any patterns between the shame you feel about your past and the lies the enemy tells you today?
- Do you see any connection between your past mistakes and present temptations you face?
- One of the biggest lies the enemy will use against our past is to tell us we should go ahead and do whatever we want to because we have already done (fill in the blank) anyway so what difference does it make.
- Have you ever felt this way?
- If so, were you able to discern this was an attempt to get you to move away from God?
- How were you able to handle that temptation?
Let’s chat: Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Call to Prayer
Use the list of secrets you have been hiding and the lies the enemy tell you about those secrets and ask God to show you scriptures from His Word that confirm your past is forgiven and your accuser is a liar.
Use those scriptures to write specific prayers for each past sin the enemy keeps reminding you of.
You can also use the suggested scriptures in the book or choose another scripture that speaks to you. Use the P.R.A.Y. points on page 101 to help you write personal, specific prayers.
Father, we thank you for forgiving us of all our past mistakes. Lord, we know there are so many times we didn’t deserve Your love and sacrifice, but because You love us so much You died on a cross to forgive us and wipe each and every sin away. Jesus, we still struggle with sin and temptation. Forgive us when we have gone back to our old patterns and behaviors. Jesus we ask You to help us discern when the enemy is attacking us and attempting to pull us away from You. Help us to recognize his lies. Lord, Your word is truth, we ask that You to help us learn scriptures to combat the lies. Jesus, help us to draw closer to You so that we may walk in freedom and the purpose You have called us to. In Jesus Name, Amen.