Monday, October 28, 2013

What Is It That HAUNTS Us? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 HERE & Part 2 HERE
One definition of the word "haunt" is to visit frequently.
Are we haunted by the things in our life that we could of and should of done better, or,  by the bad choices we have made? 
In the last two posts we've looked at how dwelling on past mistakes could:



DICTATE HOW WE DEAL WITH  THE PRESENT for the 3rd and final part of this series
Looking at the past reminds me of houseguests and the length of time they stay in our home.  Contrast the guest that comes for a visit with the one that permanently moves into the guest bedroom!  One is a pleasant stay, while the other could put a heavy strain on a relationship! 


In this, the last part of this series, I want to make the distinction between revisiting and dwelling in the past.  I love the way Ruth Graham (the daughter of Billy & Ruth Graham) addresses this in her book,  In Every Pew Sits A Broken Heart,

"Revisiting the dark chapters of our lives can be a painful experience...Even glancing in the direction of some of our memories can open up a world of  hurt... Yet there are times in life when God gently draws us back to our places of pain and invites us to take another look.  He does not call us back to aggravate our wounds or cause us emotional harm.  When God calls,  He calls with good purpose; and when He urges us back to a hard place, He does so in order to heal us.   
Only then can we truly move on."
Here are links to Ruth Graham's

God often will take our minds back to past mistakes in order to teach us valuable spiritual lessons that, quite honestly, we wouldn't learn otherwise.  Learning from our mistakes is a positive step in our daily walk with the Lord.  These lessons reveal to us just how much the Lord loves us, cares for us, and wants what is best for us.  
On the other hand, God has never intended His children to dwell in the past.  To dwell means to take up residence in, and like the houseguest making the guestroom his own, it inevitably will lead to disaster.   The past cannot be changed no matter how much effort we use trying to make it so.  We can benefit from the inspired words Paul wrote:
  "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 
I press toward the mark for the prize of the
 high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 3:13,14
This is the final truth:  Unless God leads you back to learn from the mistakes you've made, leave them in the past.  It is my prayer that you will follow the Lord as He leads you away from the past that haunts you and forward in your walk with Him.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

What is it That HAUNTS Us? (PART 2)

Click  to read PART 1 HERE

One definition of the word "haunt" is to visit frequently.

Are we haunted by the things in our life that we could of and should of done better?  Are we haunted by the bad choices we have made? 

Do we dwell on our past failures and let them


We've all had low points in our life that we'd just as soon forget.  When we look at the flops in our life we become burdened and defeated.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could say that from every flop in our life valuable life lessons have been learned ... but, that just isn't realistic.  However, what is realistic is that God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us grace and mercy to move past life's failures and even learn from them.   Keep in mind, humans do not automatically learn from their mistakes; we need God's help.  If you are having trouble letting go of past mistakes, talk to God about it as you would a trusted friend.   Prayer draws us closer to the One that knows exactly what the future holds for us.  He is our Refuge and the Calm of every storm.  God invites us to "cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." (I Peter 5:7). 

I like to look at the life of the Apostle Paul as an example of why we should look past the failures in our life.  After Paul was saved, he prayed for grace to move past the guilt he felt for persecuting and putting to death many innocent Christians of that day.  Like King David in PART 1 of this series, he would not allow the past to haunt the present work God had called him to do.  
Both King David and Paul prayed to be released from the guiltiness of their past sins.  God answered their prayers because they recognized their own weaknesses and trusted God for the strength and perseverance they would need to live past their failures.  God would have raised others up to fill their places, but imagine the loss to our spiritual lives had these men allowed these failures to dictate their service to the Lord.

Remember, our lives are just as important to God as David and Paul.  God wants us to reach forth in His name and be His faithful servants, soul-winners and prayer warriors. He has given us the tools to accomplish what He has called us to do if we will only look to Him and not within ourselves. 

My prayer for you is that you will not allow the ghosts of past failures to burden you and hinder you from doing what the Lord is pressing upon your heart to do RIGHT NOW.  

PART 3 of this devotion will follow in a few days.....


Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Is It That HAUNTS Us? (PART 1)

What HAUNTS us?
Perhaps it's
past failures...
unresolved anger... regrets...
unforgiving attitudes toward others...
painful experiences we can't seem to get over.  

One definition of the word "haunt" is to visit frequently. 

We all have occasions when thoughts of past mistakes cross our mind.  However, dwelling on our mistakes and allowing them to haunt us day after day ...






In the Second book of Samuel, chapter 11, we find the story of the dreadful sin King David committed in taking Bathsheba from her husband Uriah and subsequently, arranging his murder.  We know from II Samuel chapter 12 that David deeply regretted what he had done against the Lord and his people.  David, to his credit, went to the Lord, confessed his sins, mourned the death of his child and with God's help, was able to move on with his life.  Further evidence of his sorrow over this sin can be found in the many Psalms that David wrote, in particular, Psalm 51.

We might be tempted to think David needed to re-visit this time in his life again and again; if nothing else, to remind himself of his weakness.  With help from the Lord, however, David would not allow this regretful and shameful sin to haunt him. 

Notice the ways in which David would not allow the past to haunt the present:

  • He recognized that he had sinned before God.  He knew his life would be meaningless if he did not confess, ask forgiveness, and repent of his sin. 

  • He desired to be back in the close relationship he had once had with God, before this sin. 

  • He was concerned that his actions would hinder him from being the king of Israel that God desired him to be. 

  • He desperately wanted his joy restored. 

  • He trusted God to give him the strength to get past this terrible time. 
We are not perfect and we will never live above sin.  But, we must not let the past haunt the present.  As children of God, we have a heavenly Father that forgives and forgets, if, (and here's our part) we go to Him humbly and ask to be forgiven.  He is faithful and just to forgive our sins so that those past mistakes are remembered no more.  If we continue to allow ourselves to re-visit the past sins after we've been forgiven, we will be denying that Jesus Christ is our one true Advocate and Mediator with our Heavenly Father. 


PART 2 of this devotion will follow in a few days.....

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."    1 John 1:9

Monday, October 7, 2013

That Can't Be Right

Printable Calendar at


I took a deep breath the last day of August

and ...poof... September disappeared!

When I was younger I would hear the older folks say things like "Where does the time go?" and "Boy, this year has flown by".   I'd wonder what calendar they were using because my Monday-Friday workdays were just crawling by.  Back then I was much busier and felt a little like Scarlett in that I had decades of time ahead and,  after all, tomorrow is another day...

Well, guess what - I'm the one looking at that older folks' calendar saying "WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?"  And asking if it is possible to buy back some of that time I didn't worry about back then?  Of course we can't get back the time we've already spent, however, according to Colossians 4:5, we should, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." 
I like how the Amplified Bible expands this verse:    Behave yourselves wisely - living prudently and with discretion - in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. 
Not to ourselves, but for the Lord

Instead of buying up more time (which is impossible) we should strive to live our lives wisely, prudently and with discretion, seizing every opportunity of every day to make the day count for the Lord.  In this way we will please our Heavenly Father  and our relationships with others will honor Him. 

God never asks anyone to do the impossible.  If it were not possible for our daily walk to please Him and influence people that need the Lord, His Word would simply not instruct us to do so. 


However, there is an urgency about the time we have on this earth.  Consider Ephesians 5:16, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."   We are warned that wasting time is a tool the devil uses to side-track God's people in living for ourselves instead of living for Him.   Any opportunity that God gives us to serve Him must never be wasted.

According to Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, "Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to His design."  (Commentary Reference)

Another urgency about time is that it is measured and it has a deadline. Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."  If we are going to do anything for the Lord it must be now - not later.  The thing about Scarlett's philosophy is that we are not promised tomorrow.    


I pray that you will make today, and every day count for the Lord by living according to His plan and purpose for your life.
~Blessings,  Pamelyn