Samantha was a young Christian who had purposed in her heart to walk with the Lord. She desired to live a righteous, sober and godly life and to obtain her prize in Christ Jesus. In a moment of ‘weakness’, however, she had fallen. She had committed sin!
She despaired and agonized about the event until the moment of truth arrived with searching questions. “How could she have given in?” “Was she still worthy of the Lord’s love and grace?” “Where did she go from here?” Her quest led her back to ‘the foot of the cross’ and the question, “what did Christ’s death on the cross signify?”
Any transgression against the laws of God will lead to one of two things for a true believer. Either a sense of conviction or condemnation. Conviction reflects the recognition of sin and leads to godly repentance. Such repentance reconnects the believer to the body of Christ. Condemnation, on the other hand, recognizes sin but determines that there is no hope for reconciliation. This determination maintains the separation from God and condemns us to return to our past lifestyle [II Corinthians 7:10].
As Christians, however, it must be our desire to remain in contact with the Lord at all cost. We must also remember that it is the devil’s desire to see us lose or quit the race of Life.
Therefore, at the many cross roads that we will face in our walk, the choice will always be – to remain with the Lord (through conviction), which is our Father’s desire. Or, to return to our sinful past (through condemnation), which is the devil’s desire.
Christ has, however, irrespective of our choice and our past, already paid the price for us on the cross at Calvary. Nevertheless, let us not forget that we ought not to sin because we can repent and be forgiven by God’s grace through His salvation plan. His grace towards us cannot be made an accomplice to sin and is not a license to do as we please. Godly repentance (through a broken and a contrite heart) demands a change from our sinful ways. Such repentance will ‘convict’ us to live godly, sober and righteous lives rather than to become complacent in our unrighteousness.
What we have done in the past cannot be changed, but how we view our past and what we do in our future is still our choice. We can either allow our past mistakes (whether in or outside the body of Christ) to condemn us to separation from God; or we can use it, with godly repentance, to spur us on to recommit our lives to the Lord.
Remember too, that often times Christ has already forgiven us for our past but we have failed to receive His forgiveness. So we continue to carry the baggage around with us, weighing ourselves down instead of pressing on to higher heights.
Samantha’s time at ‘the foot of the cross’ made her realize that Christ’s death was the most powerful eraser. Her past could be wiped clean through the blood of the Lamb, if she allowed it. Or, she could hang on to the pain and shame of her sin and condemn herself to separation from God. She chose to repent and went on to become a faithful servant bearing fruit for the Lord with a living testimony.
Do you have conquest over your past; or is your past being a conqueror over you? It is your choice!
Reprinted from NewLife News, (Vol. 1 No. 8, October 1999); A publication of New Life Worship Centre, De La Vega City, Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica W.I.