Have you ever wanted to run? Run from someone or something?
We’re now moving into 2019. The parties are over, vacation time is spent, resolution lists are made (maybe even broken), and we’re back to the real world. New year, new you right? But for some of us, 2019 doesn’t feel new, it feels just like past years bringing our past problems with it. When I think back over the years of my life I can think of many poor decisions I've made. Most of those I wouldn’t want to repeat and I’m sure you can relate. People I’ve hurt, choices and mistakes I’ve made, and sins I’ve committed. Our past sometimes feels like an anchor around our ankle we’ve been missioned to drag behind ourselves that we can never let go of, or it won’t let go of us.
"Our past sometimes feels like an anchor around our ankle we’ve been missioned to drag behind ourselves"
Over the last several weeks there have been a number of situations in my life that have reminded me of my past poor choices. I would love to tell you I responded in the right way but I didn’t, I wanted to run. I wanted to hide and run and find a corner of the world where I could flee from my anxiety, my shame, and my guilt. Have you ever been there? Here’s the thing though, you can’t outrun those things. Anxiety, shame, and guilt are heart problems and if you’ve found a way to outrun your heart let me know. Listen, for those of us that have said yes to a relationship with Jesus, we’re told to run to him, not from him.
In Matthew chapter 11 it reads “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30
In these verses Jesus instructs us to run to him yet don’t we often run from him? We allow our shame and guilt to drive us to do the exact opposite thing we’ve been called to do… find comfort and peace in Jesus. Here was my problem and maybe your problem too… that we take our shame, anxiety, and guilt and willingly attach it to our ankle when we’ve already been set free from it. Paul writes in Galatians 1, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” That means that for those that have said YES to a relationship with Jesus, we’ve already been set free. The trouble is we have this tendency to keep going back to our chains. We drag them behind us year after year, never willing to let go. Why? Because the dark corners of our heart tell us, “...hold tight to them, you don’t deserve what Jesus has given you. You’re not worth it.”
Are we willing to go with what God has said about us instead of what our heart says about us?
Here’s the truth, don’t trust your heart, trust God’s word. God said you’ve been forgiven, God said you’ve been made new, God said you’ve been set free. So the challenge for you and me is to live as people who have been set free. Are we willing to go with what God has said about us instead of what our heart says about us? It’s time to stop running, myself included. In 2019, it’s time to leave our anchors in the past and live as people who are free.
Written by Graeme Wilson,
Marketing & Communication Lead at Wellspring Church