Remember not the Former Things, Behold the New Thing
In the movie ‘Ice Age: The Meltdown’, the prehistoric creatures discover that the ice age is coming to an end, so the creatures take on a journey to higher ground. In the exodus scene, we have a dung beetle family migrating along with the other animals. The dung beetle dad is pushing this heavy ball of crap and in frustration, he remarks:
Dung Beetle Dad: Do we have to bring this crap? I’m sure there’s crap where we’re going!
Dung Beetle Mom: [Offended] Uh! This was a gift from my mother.
Click the link to watch the scene on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EqJIjoo63Y
As you journey from this year to the next, what kind of crap are you carrying across? You have the ability to carry only a certain amount of baggage. Every person has a threshold of how much crap they can endure in life. Beyond that, you come to a breaking point. The more of the wrong stuff you carry, the less space you have for the good stuff in life. Therefore decide what is more important to your journey in life and let go of the stuff that’s not worth carrying anymore.
I have seen hurting people continue in pain just because they do not let go of their hurts. Why do you hold on to something that hurts so badly, why do you stay bitter, angry, frustrated and negative? Like the dung beetle, do you hold on to the crap because it was a gift from someone significant in your life? I have watched people grieve all their lives because their parents failed to love them or were not there for them. They are so upset and hurt and sulk over their parent’s faults for so long that they themselves never were able to be good parents either, because hurting people hurt others.
I have seen people grieve over their dead loved ones for so long that they fail to love people that are still living. Are you letting one offence, injury, failure ruin your entire life? Are you creating a future for yourself that’s an exact replicate of your past? If you carry crap around, all you have left with you is crap. How can you make this New Year different from all the other years? It’s simple, let go of the crap. To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22 ESV).
Usually people predict their future by looking at the past. The general rule that they apply is past behaviour and circumstances determines the future behaviour and circumstances, which means once a loser always a potential loser. However, for those of us who are called according to God’s purpose, our future is not determined by our past, but it is determined by God working in us and through us. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3: 12-14 ESV).
You might have failed in the past but don’t allow that failure to determine your future. God promises us that He will make a new thing for us if we make an effort not to remember the past anymore. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43: 18-19 ESV).
Your past does not dictate your future, only God does, if you allow Him to be the Lord of your life. God promises to make a way where there seems to be no way and He can change your heart and those around you if you give Him the chance to work in your life. If you obey God and let go of the past you will see the promises of God come true in your life.
How do you determine what stays in your life and what stuff you throw away? One rule that I follow to keep life simple is, to hold on firmly to the will of God for my life and to let go of everything that is displeasing to God. When you seek God’s will for your life you will soon have the wisdom to recognise the difference between good things and the crap things.
You may think that your mistakes and failures in life are unforgivable, but God is merciful and therefore seek His mercy. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalms 103: 8-12 NIV). Have confidence in God’s love and mercy and let go of your failings as God has graciously forgiven it all.
As humans, we have a tendency to hold on to the negative. Someone might have overly criticised your work or insulted you. Do not let their rudeness destroy your life. Forgive them and let go of the hurts. Do not ponder on their cruel words, but instead mediate on Gods’ word and His purpose for your life. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4: 31-32 ESV).
At times people are injured and hurt by their past experiences that they tend to look at their future with anxiousness and dread. God does not want you to be driven by anxiety, but driven by hope and trust in Him, that He will take care of you and provide for your needs. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6: 25-34 ESV)
Our faith in God should drive us to look forward and not backwards, nor focus on our former experience, but ponder on the new things that God graciously promises. We have a purpose to fulfil God’s will and it’s only accomplished by looking forward, by being optimistic and hopeful. Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 ESV).
Let go of personality traits that are negative and holding you back from going forward. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). Throw every crap away and re-new your mind with God’s word, walk in the path of righteousness and reap the blessings this New Year that comes by obeying God and experience the freedom, joy and peace that comes from letting go of the past and embracing the future.