Are you allowing your past to hold you back? Does the constant mental parade of images of all you have done wrong keep you from moving forward? Would you believe that none of it matters? Truly your past does not matter to God, He cares about your future. He sent His Son to pay for those awful things and, when brought to Him with a heart asking forgiveness, they are 100% completely forgiven. In fact, He will use those awful things from your past for His Glory. But, you must make a choice to walk forward with Him in His righteousness, strength and wisdom.

This blog is one in a journey of a Getting to Know God series. The names and attributes of God are adapted from a guide on the Navigators website called 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God. Today’s blog corresponds with Day 17 – God is Merciful.

Today the Navigators’ Guide says this: “God is merciful. God’s merciful compassion is infinite and inexhaustible. Through Christ, He took the judgment that was rightfully ours and placed it on His own shoulders. He waits and works now for all people to turn to Him and to live under His justification.”

Our verses for the day are:
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (NIV)

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

Today’s attribute strikes me at my core. I think it hits me SO deep because I have received an overwhelming amount of mercy from God in my life. I know that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that His righteousness stands in the gap for me. What makes this so powerful for me is that I know how much mercy I have needed in my life and I know how much mercy I have accepted in my life. The height of the mercy was never overwhelmed by the depth of the need.

I recently visited my hometown, where I have not lived for 15 years. It was quite a trip, literally. God reminded me of who I was “back then” but in a gentle way. It was like He whispered, “See where I have brought you from when you allowed me to heal your heart?” I looked around my hometown and saw the places with deep pain from the past but now I saw them from new and refreshed eyes that showed me how God has used and will use those incidents and poor choices for His Glory.

It was not always this way. In fact, for many, many years I let my speckled past keep me from moving forward. I was constantly focused on the old me and the sin I reveled in at that time of my life. I felt guilt and shame and I just knew that God could not possibly love me or forgive me for all I had done. I was wrong – dead wrong.

God revealed how wrong I was with six words He spoke to my spirit at a Beth Moore conference: “Past matters not, you are loved.” Those six words kick-started my healing walk. My eyes began to open and see His unconditional love for me. I now see how God is merciful and how His mercy abounds in my life. As a matter of fact, it is because of the deep depth of my depravity that I have experienced the highest heights of God’s mercy. I will forever live in gratefulness to God for freely offering to cover ALL the YUCK I have chosen and brought upon myself in my life.

I pray you can accept and soak in this awesome trait of God because when you do, it will give you great peace and overwhelming hope. Whatever your past looks like, Jesus died on the cross to forgive you of it and when God forgives your sin it is as if He drops it into a bottomless pit. He doesn’t keep score against you, He doesn’t hold a grudge ready to remind you of how awful you were, those are the job of the enemy of your soul. The God, the One and Only Almighty and Merciful One, gave His All to bring you to Him.

May the mercy and grace of the One True God soak deep in your soul.

Blessings and love,