This week we are in Chapter 6 “Embrace Forgiveness…Can I know for sure that God has forgiven me?” in our study of Embrace Grace by Liz Curtis Higgs.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes, after confessing our sins to God and receiving His forgiveness, we won’t forgive ourselves?
And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. Hebrews 8:12, Jeremiah 31:34 NLT
God forgives and chooses not to remember. So, we remind Him.
We carry it around…the weight of guilt and shame.
What God removed, we keep trying to reapply—who we were before, to who we are now.
Of course, we’re human and we can’t forget the way God can, especially if we’re living with the consequences of the past.
But we can let it go.
The enemy loves when we live with guilt and shame. He tries to remind us of the past and drag us back down. And even better for him, is when we do it to ourselves…over and over again.
But when God forgives, He washes us clean, and we get to start over. Every day. Every hour. Even every moment.
Let it go.
Holding on to the past means our hands are full—tightly gripped and clinging to what God has already set free.
But when we release the guilt and the past, our fingers uncurl, maybe one at a time or maybe all at once.
Will you do something with me?
Hold your hands out in front of you with your palms facing up. Clench them into fists and think about something you’ve been holding onto. Something you’ve already asked God’s forgiveness for, but you can’t let it go.
Now, release it to Him. You may want to say it out loud, or quietly to yourself. As you verbally or mentally let it go, unclench your fists and raise your arms up high.
With our hands open and palms facing up, our hands are no longer full. But they are not empty, because God replaces our past with our future.
And with open hands, we have room to receive all He wants to bless us with.
As you release it with your hands, let it go in your heart, too.
With open hands and hearts, we become willing and able to embrace all God has to give.
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. James 1:17a NLT
The temptation may be there to take it back. We know the feel of tightly clenched hands, and the familiarity of who we used to be.
When this happens, I have to go to God and ask Him for the desire and strength to leave it all with Him.
But if, like me, you find you’ve snatched it back again, don’t give up. Make up your mind to let it go, and give it to God again…and again, until you find yourself not wanting to take it from Him anymore.
What in your life do you need to let go?
Photo: Woman with Wreath of Flowers in Her Hands – Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis