There are many great men and women in the Bible who lived lives that are worthy of emulating. People whose actions teach us faith and strength and help us grow on our own journey. But very few of those people did everything right. In fact, many of them had sordid pasts or made mistakes along the way or had to overcome difficult circumstances again and again.
Moses was a murderer, a deserter, and kind of a whiner before he chose to follow God. David slept with another man’s wife and then had the man killed in order to save face. Paul hunted and killed Christians. After Jesus was arrested, Peter refused to claim Him as a friend and the day after He died, Peter went right back to his old life as a fisherman. And these are just a few of the many examples.
These were people of great faith who loved God and did great exploits for Him. But, clearly, none of them were the perfect candidate to carry out God’s work. At least, not by the standards most of us have for our leaders. Apparently, God has a different set of standards. He didn’t measure any of these people by their pasts or by the mistakes they made after they started following Him. Instead, He used them in mighty, earth-shaking, history-making ways.
Just like God wants to use you. No matter your past or the mistakes you’ve made since you were born again – you are His ideal candidate for the job he has for you. The mistakes you have made don’t disqualify you from the call on your life.
Romans 11:29 says, “God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.”
When you were formed in your mother’s womb, God had a plan for your life. A plan that would honor and glorify Him. A plan He lovingly crafted for your specific personality and based on the path He knew you would walk (See Jeremiah 29:11). So, maybe you feel like you’re walking down a different path. And maybe you are not on the path that God would have led you down, but God has created exits all over the path you’re on that will get you back to what He has for you. His call can never be withdrawn from your life!
But here’s the thing – you have to leave the path you’re on. You have to let that go. Release it and walk away from that path. I wrote last month about Paul’s amazing conversion and how he walked away from his past life with such boldness. And you have to do that too. All of those great men of God I mentioned earlier, repented and headed straight into whatever God had for them. And God didn’t use their mistakes against them, in fact, He used them to show us today that we qualify to be used by Him no matter what.
If you give to God whatever is holding you back – regret, bitterness, pride, insecurity. Because, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, those are the reasons we linger on that other path. Those are the reasons we’re not following all those exits God has created for us. But if you give it to God, He will heal it. He will give you peace and security over every situation. He will take those past mistakes and turn it into a testimony. A testimony that you can use to bless others. To show others how to take the exit to the path God has for them.
God wants you to be free from the bondage of your past. He wants you to pursue Him. He loves you more than any love you have ever known in this world.
Take that exit today. Let go of those chains holding you back. Run after everything God has for you.