Kathy and I were having breakfast with a man after Street Corner Saturday morning who was recovering from a brutal beating which almost cost him his life. He was in a coma for several weeks and the doctors were not optimistic about his recovery. While he was in the coma, the Lord spoke to him and reassured him that He still had work on the earth for him to complete. He told us that he remembers being separated from his body and looking down on the doctors and his family similar the common near-death experience. He eventually recovered and has had a dramatic life change as he is convinced he has been given a second chance at life.
This man had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and was associated with some bad people. As he continued with his story he began to express self-doubt and a feeling of not fitting in with the other men around him. He continued to share about his past failures and insecurities and I stopped him mid-sentence and told him-
Stop! You can’t look back!
We all have junk in our past. We have all made mistakes. You simply cannot dwell on the past.
I told him that he was a new person that has been transformed and forever changed. The old self is gone. The voice telling you that you about your past, your previous failures, that your not good enough …is NOT the voice of the Father. This is the voice of the enemy. You cannot listen to this.
The enemy uses self-doubt, shame, and guilt to take away our power. When we turn inside of ourselves we have destroyed our ability to influence others in a positive way. We cease in our ability to make a difference in the world.
He shook his head yes and thanked me for the reminder. He viewed many of the other men around him as hypocrites for just “talking and not walking” in their faith. I reminded him that he can influence them by doing the right thing and walking in the light. The rest is up to God. He needn’t carry that burden.
Looking back can bring you down but it can also be an encouragement. Look how far you have come! You are not where you used to be. And you are moving forward. You are making a difference. Push that negative voice out of your head. It is not doing you any good!
Realize that you are here for a purpose much bigger than yourself. To change lives. To build up. To restore and create. This is the voice from heaven. Listen for it!