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  • Scott Johnson

Your Past Doesn’t Determine Your Future



But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. (Galatians 1:15-16)

Reading this scripture may seem simple enough. God had a plan for Paul, to share the news about Jesus with the Gentiles. If you know much about Paul, he was the primary person to go out. To the ‘other’ places, to speak and teach with the Gentiles (non-jews). These two verses seem encouraging, God chose Paul for the ministry, and he has done great things for the gospel. But in verse 16 he says "Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me." this brings us back, back to the moment of change, the moment of transformation, hope. If you look back just two verses, you hear Paul share his story, his past, the things he wasn’t proud of.

You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. (Galatians 1:13-14)

Remember this is Paul’ past. This is what he was known for, your known for things as well. Maybe you're known as the co-worker that is serious all the time and doesn’t know the person sitting in the cubical next door, after seven years of working together. But you want to change that; you want to encourage others, share life with them, impact their lives. Maybe you're known as the kid, your young and have so much to learn. But you have a desire to do something big, something important but no one takes you serious and seems to put your passions down. The fact is we are all known for something(s).

Your past is something that you have to live with, but you don’t have to continue living

And just like Paul, we have a past. It is a past that we have to live with but don’t have to continue living. For Pauls verse 13 and 14 he has verse 15 and 16. For his past actions and thoughts, he has a new action and new thoughts. He is a new creation.

For your past actions, for your past thoughts, for what people know you for. You have a new opportunity. Your past doesn’t determine your future. Don’t let what you have been known for determine what you are called to be known for. Paul was known for persecuting Christians. Now he is known for being a Christian. His life was flipped upside down in the greatest way, and God did amazing things through him. Maybe God needs to flip your life upside down? I believe God is calling each one of us to submit our past, to give up the past acknowledgments, to surrender who we are known as and what we are known for to be known for something greater! Something that no man or women could ever imagine and through that God will do something Great.

Don’t let what you have been known for determine what you are called to be known for

Today I hope that you accept the fact that your past is not your future. What you have been known for is not what you continue to be known for. God has something great ahead. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Don’t let your past hold you down. Draw near to God. Seek His plans for your life and follow His direction. I look forward to seeing what God does in your life!

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