Faithful And Righteous

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18)

The following is a very profound thought that has taken me 36 years to come up with. I don’t believe I came up with it, but, finally, my dear Lord revealed it to me through suffering: “I am only responsible for that which has been given to me to control by God,” and its converse: “I can only control that which I have been given responsibility for.”

You say, “how profound is that?” Very. I condemned myself for the death of our baby back in November. The enemy (Satan) took full advantage of that one (he always will). God revealed to me only through a great deal of pain and suffering that, although my actions, or neglect of actions, may have contributed to the death of the baby, that I am presently not responsible for the death of this child in any way whatsoever. Let me explain. This does not mean I did not “sin” at some point along the way, so as to cause the baby to die through some form of neglect, or something that I could have otherwise have done to have prevented my wife from miscarrying. Rather, once I have been forgiven, I must receive of that forgiveness entirely, and move on, because God is greater than anything I could have done to have caused the baby to die.

If you are able to receive forgiveness for your sins, you can be free in a day. But if, like I was, you are unable to receive forgiveness for those sins, then you will keep on blaming yourself for the past — especially when it is something “great,” like the loss of a child, or the death of a loved one. The past, however, is just that. It is the past. You may be able to control the present, but you cannot control the past. The past is the past. It is beyond your control. And (here’s the revelation), you are NOT responsible for that which you cannot control. Please listen to me. That is the key statement that will get you free (underline it if you can). The “key” then, is to confess your sins before the Lord if you have sinned (be specific), to receive his forgiveness (which is by faith and not by works, so that need only take a moment), and then, by that same faith, move on, my friend! Move on!

You can move on in an upward, positive, and very productive way, simply by receiving that forgiveness and leaving the whole thing in God’s hands. One of the greatest challenges, in fact, is to realize that his grace is indeed so great, so wonderful, so plentiful. His grace means complete freedom for those who are able to live in the present. (I hope I am not getting above your heads, now.) You leave in His hands that which he can control. He leaves in your hands, that which you can control — not the other way around. You cannot take in your hands, that which only he can control. And likewise, he will not take in his hands, that which you can control. The present, you can control. Do well now. The past you cannot control. Leave that with God. And don’t let that bind you or hinder you in any way (that is one of the chief requirements for living a victorious life in Christ, as I have seen).

So, if someone says to you, “You are responsible for the death of your child,” or, “You are responsible for the loss of your husband, or wife, to cancer, which could have otherwise been avoided if only you had acted differently, or believed differently, or behaved differently, or shown more compassion,” (etc.), then your answer should be that, “Yes, maybe I sinned in the past, and can learn from that. I confess my sins before the Lord, and, according to 1 John 1:9, he is “faithful and righteous to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness,” based on my confession and desire to be made right with him. But now? No, now I am no longer responsible for any of that, because someone else has graciously taken ownership of all of my responsibilities, that is, Christ. That is what the “exchanged life” is all about. He takes our burdens. We take on his righteoussness. It simply isn’t fair. It is not fair at all. But if you can receive it, you will be free.

I still cry sometimes, because God is still in the process of healing me. A twinge of regret may come over me, like it did this morning. However, as soon as the temptation to despair comes along (this is a spirit that wants to trap you, be sure of that), I smarten up because of what God has shown me, and boldly proclaim (in my spirit, if not out loud), “I am not responsible for the death of the baby — now. I am free, because Christ has forgiven me. In fact, I am completely free! The baby is in God’s hands, and is HIS responsibility.” Now, that puts things where they belong, and enables me to walk on, unhindered in my Christian life, so that I can be productive once again. And truly, I am a free person.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18)