Joyce Meyer | We don't have to live under the burden of condemnation for past mistakes (ECWA Archive).
We all face challenges in life, and there are times when we need to confront them. It could be something in your past that you've been avoiding. Or maybe it's a person you need to forgive.
No matter what the issue may be, we need to understand how important it is to deal with it because, if we don't, we will miss out on the wonderful life Jesus died to give us. We won't experience the freedom of a peaceful, joyful life (Rom. 14:17).
Now, I realize that there are things we can't go back and fix. But sometimes God asks us to make restitution. When He does, confrontation is necessary. This means we need to face the truth about our circumstances, other people and ourselves.
I've had to confront a lot of difficult, hurtful things in my life, and it wasn't easy. But I know from personal experience that if you will face the truth about yourself and let God change you enough, you can learn to be happy no matter what anybody else chooses to do or what your circumstances may be.
Maybe It's Me
I remember a time many years ago when I thought all of my problems were caused by other people or circumstances I couldn't control. One day I was praying aggressively for God to change my husband, Dave. I was giving it everything I had, crying out for God to "fix" him, and in my heart I heard Him say, "Excuse Me, Joyce, but Dave is not the problem."
My next thought was, "Well, then who is? It's just me and him in this relationship." For the next two days, God showed me what it was like to live with me … and I cried for two days. It was so hard! I had a long way to go to be free of the hurt in my heart and the wrong behavior I had lived with for so long. But it was the beginning of my journey to experiencing the freedom I enjoy today.
One of the first things I had to understand was I had to stop blaming everybody else, stop looking at what was wrong with other people and start taking responsibility for my attitudes and behavior. It's amazing how easy it is for us to point out what's wrong with others while we totally ignore the issue in our own lives.
The truth is, no matter what's wrong with everybody else, you can't change them. Only God can do that. You can choose to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and let Him change the things in your heart that need to be changed. But you have to be willing to face the truth about yourself and deal with the issues He reveals that are causing your problems.
It's a Choice We Make
We need to make a determined decision to be Christlike in our behavior and be so committed to God that we won't go back.
A good place to start is to ask yourself: Do I want to know God or just know what He can do for me? In Philippians 3:10, the apostle Paul says, "[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from Him resurrection…and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness…" (AMPC).
Paul wanted to know God—to know Him more deeply, more intimately. He wanted a deeper revelation of who God really is and how he was nothing without Him. That's true for us too: We're nothing without Jesus and we have everything when we're in Him.
We need to live deeper lives in Christ. I'm talking about knowing God intimately, personally and walking in the Spirit, not our flesh, or what we want, think and feel outside of our relationship with Him.
When we seek God's face—not just His hand or what He can do for us—that's when we grow in our faith and become what He created us to be.
Ephesians 4:15 (AMPC) says, "Let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)."
God wants to reveal the truth about us, to us. It's time to stop running and start facing the things that are coming between us and Him … the things that are holding us back from His good plan and purpose for our lives. I want to encourage you to sincerely repent of your mistakes and trust God's love for you, that He will forgive you and help you move past them. You don't have to live under the burden of your mistakes and regrets.
Turn to God. Serve Him with your whole heart. Believe His Word and walk in His ways and you will reap the rewards of living His wonderful plan for your life!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.