Don’t be trapped in the past (1)

devotion column:Erasmus Makarimayi

SO many times believers spend valuable time reminiscing about their unsaved past instead of concentrating on the hope of their calling in Christ.

The canal mind enjoys the feel good experience of the nostalgic past. You have to be very careful because the devil wants you engrossed in the past sinful nature or dead state as the Bible calls it on account of the newness of life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Church attendees waste regrettably considerable time giving testimonies styled like this; Hallelujah children of God.

I want to thank the God of so and so (read papa, bishop, etc.) I was like and now I am this. The queue will be long and winding. After that the man or woman of God comes and shares his or her testimony. The church cries and prays and goes back home “feeling good”.

Dear beloved, this is total disregard of the Gospel of Christ. Christianity isn’t a feeling but spiritual reality. When trouble comes, all you have is people’s testimonies and not the testimony of Jesus. Mischievously, they quote Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

I have already taught on rules of Bible interpretation. Never pull out a verse out of context and make it an orphan then put your thoughts into it. I don’t have time now. Let me simply say about eight times we see the word testimony in Revelation, it points to Jesus. The writer of the book of Revelation says in Revelation 1:9, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” He was persecuted for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He didn’t preach himself but Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul weighs in in 2 Corinthians 4:5a, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;” I have deliberately left out part b because space doesn’t allow me to explain exhaustively.

Please hear again Apostle Paul as recorded in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” The Bible is the story of Christ or it’s Christocentric.

Please don’t waste your time on people because power is in the testimony of Jesus or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 reads, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Human philosophy will not get you anywhere. Sometimes readers think I’m against motivational speakers. No, I’m not.

The church is for preachers and motivational speakers have their place like every other occupation. Consider Colossians 3:1-4, “[1] If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. [2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. [3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

[4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” We get tossed to and fro if we don’t indulge in the spiritual reality. Let’s reflect on the truth not past facts as we are encouraged by 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This way human stories become dustbin material.

You probably know ministries (read denominations) built on the life story of the senior pastor or “founder” — a word I sparingly use. The founder of the church is Jesus Christ. Almost every service she or he comes and shares her or his past and psyches you up that you too can do it.

The church has to stop playing games. No games in these last of the last days. Please remember Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

The church doesn’t belong to the preacher but to the one who purchased it with His blood. His Word or the Bible is the food for His flock. As stewards, we don’t feed you with our timeline stories. Selah.

Let me conclude by introducing the power of regenerated and transformed mind. I think you know Saul of Tarsus who was in charge of the persecution of the early church. His Old Testament equivalent is King Saul who persecuted David who was anointed to be king in Saul’s place.

In writing to the church in Corinth, he says in 2 Corinthians 7:2, “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.” He was there at the stoning to death of Stephen, but had the guts to say that we wronged no man.

Do you still want to preach your past to the church and do you still want entertainment of personal stories? Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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