Romans 8:1 was my ‘saturation scripture’ for last week. Let me break it down. A saturation scripture (actually something that was coined by a preacher I once listened to on radio) is actually a verse of the Bible deliberately chosen, memorised and given serious meditations for a considerable period of time, say for at least a week. Well, I was on a guilt trip when this scripture first dropped into my spirit. I was actually finding it very hard to forgive myself for my past misdeeds. I guess it’s actually because I’m used to owning up and taking responsibilities for my actions, so you can imagine how I must have felt with the realization of how wrong I was at those particular times in my eventful history. There are times I even wished I could physically beat myself up as if that would do anything to rewrite the past.
Well, I guess I’m not the only one guilty of what today’s reflection is about. It’s about how many of us constantly replay mental images of past mistakes even though Jesus did pay the total price for all our sins and took all the punishment we deserve. Guilt can be overpowering, especially when we see the long term consequences of our selfish choices. Rather than struggle with shame, the words of Paul, the Apostle in his letter to the Philipians should always be our comfort. Philipians 3:13-14 states “one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. We need to learn to leave the past in the past and choose to believe God’s words instead of our feelings. We need to realize our spirit should never be subject to our flesh and so our fleshly feelings and desires should not govern our lives. Walking according to the spirit will enable us live without the fear of condemnation, for to be spiritually minded is life and peace and they that are governed by the flesh cannot please God.
We also need to understand that God’s timing is perfect especially as regards His overall purpose for our lives. He is a God of process. The Bible declares that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”- Ecclesiastes 3:11. As much as those mistakes might seem to come with dire consequences, we need to accept them as part of His overall plan for our good. Like someone once said, “God specializes in making music out of broken chords”, so the next time you’re thinking your mistakes are too many and it is all over for you, remember there’s always Bethel— that place of reconciliation and restoration. God’s always in the business of taking back prodigal sons and daughters and restoring their lost glory. Just tell Him how sorry you are that you left His presence, truly repent of your ways and get back on the right track again, walking not after the flesh but after His spirit. Soak yourself in His eternal mercies and let the Holy Spirit guide and comfort you all the way!