“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18, 19 (NIV)
Letting go of the past is difficult. It’s so easy to let our past define us. This is one of the most effective weapons of our adversary. In his classic book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, author Henri Nouwen makes this insightful comment. “One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life is to receive God’s forgiveness. There is something in us humans that keeps us clinging to our sins and prevents us from letting God erase our past and offer us a completely new beginning…While God wants to restore me to the full dignity of sonship, I keep insisting that I will settle for being a hired servant.” One of the marvelous revelations of grace is that in Christ I am not a product of my past, that God has a hope and a future for me that far exceeds my own imagination! God is not through with you no matter what! His grace is greater than all our sin.
As you read today’s Lectio Divina, receive the truth of God’s Word to you. Renew your mind by changing the way you think about your past. Give yourself unreservedly to God and the future He has purposed for you despite your past! How do you do that? Nouwen adds this counsel from the insights of the Prodigal Son. “Receiving forgiveness requires a total willingness to let God be God and do ALL the healing, restoring, and renewing. As long as I want to do even a part of that myself, I end up with partial solutions, such as becoming a hired servant… As the beloved son, I have to claim my full dignity…” I love that! Stop listening to the condemning voices of your enemy. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth into your heart as you meditate on this passage today.
As you read the passage again start to anticipate that “new thing” God is beginning to unfold in your life. Allow your heart to get excited with what God may have in store for you and through you. Live the adventure of His saving life each day with fresh expectation that God is at work and He is not through with you.