We are excited to have our friend Melanie Philipnery write a guest post on Soargirls this week. Melanie grew up in church from age 5, got saved at 8 and stepped into ministry as a teen. She had two careers before settling for teaching in Adult Education. Melanie is a tenacious intercessor and is longing to see the Church ready for Christ. She makes her home in Montreal, Canada with her husband Richmond and baby Asher. She also serves with Revive Nations.
A number of times I’ve encountered Christians who claimed they were victimized by their haunted past. What they hoped was buried deep and forgotten was in fact relentlessly pursuing them with flashbacks of unwanted memories causing inescapable torments.
Are you haunted by your past?
Many of us have experienced God’s saving grace and can testify to the instant aftermath of uttering the sinner’s prayer. Forgiveness is immediately granted in full measure, hearts liberated and minds enveloped with peace that passes understanding. All this is foreshadow of a staggering truth: there’s power in the blood! The blood of Jesus redeems every sin, curse and bondage and no man is licensed to resurrect what Christ has buried under his blood!
But herein lies the problem. Unfortunately, there are times when people around you, willingly or unknowingly, mention horrid details you longed to forget, and before you know it the past you once thought was permanently left behind is mercilessly excavated.
It is particularly grievous to see brethren question fellow Christians on their past life, not with a desire to hear their testimony but out of ungodly curiosity. The reality of this outcome is that unless the hearer is confident of seeing this believer through the eyes of Jesus, issues and situations from their past will give a highly deceptive and erroneous portrait, causing one to be swayed by a critical and judgmental attitude dictated by their flesh.
The Clean Slate
The mere fact that someone brings back your past does not imply that God wants you to be constantly wrestling regrets from old skeletons in your closet. On the contrary! Not desiring to keep a track record of our transgressions, our Heavenly Father mercifully gifted us a clean slate, choosing to forget our sins, counting them no more. A new creation is what you are! Hebrews 8:12 is a confirmation of God’s unmerited compassion towards us; He declares, “…I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (ESV)
The Domino Effect
A common strategy devised by the enemy is to repeatedly torture believers with guilt, shame and memories from wretched sins they have already confessed to Christ. Beware! The adversary desires to see you frozen in your tracks, stagnating, unable to finish the course you once began with excitement. He longs to steal the assurance we have in knowing our sins are forgiven. But the moment we doubt God’s forgiveness, insecurity will creep into our hearts. And with insecurity having paved its way, we lack confidence in prayer. With faithless prayer, we become weak, defeated and easy prey to be devoured by the enemy.
Hebrews 4:16 exhorts us to approach God’s throne with confidence! “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV)
The Need to Move Forward
As much as God is pleased with a repentant heart, He does not want us to dwell on our past, primarily because setting our focus on what we left behind would cost us from making progress in moving forward. Philippians 3:14 encourages us to continue pressing on to obtain the prize.
Focusing on past failures will only give you a distorted perspective on the future.
What is done is done so let it go!
Remember that God can take your past and present and make something beautifully new out of it. The writer of Ecclesiastes must have known this when he wrote, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecc. 3:11a ESV)
Do you feel your past is lurking in the shadows ready to pounce and tear you apart? Are you haunted by old memories? I encourage you to plead the blood of Jesus over every area in your past. May Christ grant you grace and give you total liberation and victory over every ungodly domain.
Can you relate to this post? To share your thoughts mail us at [email protected]
I love visiting the house of this friend of mine for one reason. Everywhere you see you will find paper cuttings and scribbled notes of Scriptures from the Word of God stuck on her house walls. And not even the washroom is spared! The Scriptures also remind me of her powerful testimony. After her husband’s sudden death, her life almost came to a halt. She went through severe depression and lost interest in things around her. But she fought back and now God is using her to minister to women around her.
Depression- a killer
Depression is a killer because it drains your motivation, enthusiasm, the very purpose of your life and can result in broken relationships, physical breakdowns and even suicides. There may be many causes of depression like a sudden untoward incident, fatigue, hurts, worry, anxiety, unconfessed sin, obsession to please people, among others.
If you are going through depression in any form, in this post I want to share with you some weapons that will help you fight it. Now these are not simply words of counsel coming from someone, who hasn’t been there; but these are truths that have set my friend free and she desires to pass it on to you.
1. Guard your thoughts: Depression is a mind condition and hence fighting it begins with tackling your mind. Take a strict inventory of your thought life. Only pure, holy, excellent thoughts (Philippians 4:8) are invited in your mind. Give legal notice to vacate all bad or negative thoughts. Your thoughts must align with God’s Word and not your situation, state of mind or feelings.
2. Soak in His Word: Whether you feel like or not, soak in the Word of God. Stick the scriptures on your door posts, walls, wherever your eyes can see them. Plant the seed of God’s word religiously in your heart as only that can set you free. Also pray in tongues all the time.
3. Keep yourself busy: Get out of your routine and do things differently. Make new habits. Find any work you can put your hands too. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Write, take a walk, watch a good movie- do the things that you like. Avoid isolating yourself, rather surround yourself with Godly men and women of God who will build you up.
4. Count your blessings: Begin everyday by thanking God for every little and big thing in your life. Gratitude triggers praise and praise will usher your breakthrough. Enjoy God’s creation. Enjoy every bird in the sky, every tree, mountain. Also it does not pay to keep grudges. Forgive instantly all who have hurt you. Bless and release them.
5. Finally enter into God’s rest: Know that your breakthrough is not in striving or worrying, but in knowing your position and identity in the finished work of Christ. Stop being restless about your future, your children, your marriage or your finances. I heard somebody putting it this way: when you strive, God waits, but when you rest, God acts. Lean on God and not on your own strength or your own ability.
If you are fighting depression and need prayers, feel free to send in your prayer request to us at [email protected], we would love to pray for you.
Your love, oh Lord shines so bright
That no dark clouds,
could ever fade away the light
Even on my stormiest days,
Your love will never be washed away…
These are words of the title song of a recently released album ‘Washed Away’ and the powerful voice behind this is of Taylor Carpenter. Based out of San Diego, 19 year old Taylor suffers from a severe physical disorder called “Brittle Bones”, which means that the bones in her body are very fragile and prone to multiple fractures even with a slightest force.
Instead of choosing to live a pitiful life, the wheelchair bound Taylor decided to use her gifts to give glory to God. Her album features 10 songs along with a music video for the title track (see the video track at the end of this post). “Since Jesus is our one and only true source of love, strength, hope, and peace, these songs come from a pure and honest place in my heart that comes out when I sing,” says Taylor.
Courtesy: Taylor Carpenter
Why me, God?
It has not been an easy journey for Taylor. Born in a Christian family, her heart was bitter towards Jesus. “God if you really love me, you would not allow me to go through this suffering,” she would cry out.
It was during one such difficult time in the hospital that Taylor’s mom gave her the scripture Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me), assuring her that with Jesus on her side she could endure anything.
But Taylor’s journey was just starting. A car accident in 6th grade left Taylor with a broken pelvis, both hips broken, and a broken wrist. Taylor, in a body cast (which she was used to after 13 surgeries) recalls time in her room scolding God for allowing her to be in pain, asking why He could not have made life easier.
It was during this time that God used a youth pastor in her area who reminded Taylor that her life was a gift and enabled her to see the goodness of God even in the midst of her trials. Throughout constant and continuous medical visits and surgeries, God began His work in Taylor.
During her freshman year, she learned simple chords from her worship pastor and forced herself to practice her ‘gift of song’ regularly. What followed was God’s continued grace as He began to inspire Taylor to songwriting.
Every trial, a way to praise God
Carpenter currently leads the worship for her high school ministry and she has inspired many people, even to tears, during her time ministering to the congregation through her musical talent. Taylor now sees every struggle and broken bone as a way to praise God because it could be so much worse.
“I pray and thank God for each new day of my life, and for my incredible family. My prayer is that my songs will not only bless you but help you to know that God is real and alive and that He loves you. Having “pity parties” and focusing on your problems slows things down. However, focusing on God, opens up doors that no man can shut.”