“Oh, what we could be if we stopped carrying the remains of who we were.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Moses, David, Rahab the prostitute, the Samaritan woman at the well… just to name a few.
God used them in amazing ways despite their pasts, despite who they were or what they were working out within themselves.
He was well aware of their pasts. He was well aware of their weaknesses. He knew their struggles. He knew them. And despite all this, they still carried out His purpose for their lives.
God didn’t stop and decide to choose someone else to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He could have. But He didn’t. And in Exodus 4:13, Moses basically asks to tag out. Asking God if He could just send someone else. (I’m paraphrasing)
Sometimes it’s tempting to ask God if we can tag out too. “Send someone else, Lord. I don’t have it all together, I probably won’t be able to do it. Seems like a pretty lofty goal, I think we both know I shouldn’t aim that high. I could never reach, Lord. I don’t have what it takes. And you remember who I used to be, Lord.”
We often forget that God can’t work through the “perfect” people. Not because He lacks the ability but because they don’t leave any room for Him. He prefers us ragamuffins. His strength works wonders through our weaknesses.
God didn’t decide to have Samuel anoint one of David’s older brothers. They were all right there. But David was the chosen one. And he certainly made his share of mistakes, but God still used Him.
And Rahab… my goodness. God used the fact that men were often seen “frequenting her house” to carry out His plan. She hid the Israelite spies, and found favor with God and she and her family were spared. And in Matthew she’s mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
God gave Rahab grace. It’s beautiful how He looks at hearts. It’s overwhelming how He waits for us to hand Him our sins. It’s ridiculous how we think He wants to hold them over our heads. We do that on our own.
When Jesus intentionally sought the Samaritan woman at the well, being there at the time she went to draw water (to avoid the other women because of her lifestyle) it’s clear that she is the person He wanted to use to tell others about the Living Water.
Jesus saw her sin. Jesus still actively pursued her and showed her love. He then sought to reconcile her to Him. Jesus didn’t tell her how unworthy she was, because she wasn’t unworthy.
All of these people at some point had to be carrying the guilt and shame of their past sins. Some of them even carrying the shame of their current struggles.
But God used them anyway. He wants to use you, too. I know you think He can’t. You may even be audacious enough that you’ve decided that He won’t use you because of __________________.
Just fill in the blank with whatever it is that you think you’ve done or struggle with. The thing you have decided is so terrible that God has cancelled your purpose.
God hasn’t cancelled your purpose. And guess what, you can’t cancel it either. Trust me, I have certainly tried. If you haven’t repented for whatever it is… right now is the perfect time.
And if you have repented. Please stop dragging it around and dwelling on it. That’s just the enemy making you think you have to keep punishing yourself.
Remember how scripture tells us that on the cross, Jesus said. “It is finished.” Well, it’s finished. All the stuff you did or didn’t do, buried with Christ. So, let it go. In Christ, you are made new.
There’s freedom in laying it all down at His feet and running to embrace your purpose. God created you to be amazing.
So, go be amazing. Reach for the stars.
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2 (NLT)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive us for not accepting your forgiveness when you offer it to us. Help us each become the person you created us to be. I ask that you show us how to get out of our own way. We hand you our struggles, our sins, and the remains of who we used to be. Guide us forward in the freedom of your love and forgiveness. Help us embrace the beautiful purpose you have for us. Help us to remember that our past cannot stop Your future.
In Jesus name,