- Don’t Go Back. I’ve been in church all of my life. Never have I ever heard of Jesus returning to the grave that they buried Him in. I don’t remember Him moving the stone that closed the tomb, stepping out for fresh air…and walking back into the tomb. Nor do I remember Him putting the ‘grave clothes’ on & playing dress up in His history. So my question is: why do we do that? So often, we pray & plead for deliverance….only to return to our own ‘tombs’ when we get bored, or challenged, or discouraged. If you’ve been resurrected from…anything, why do you keep returning to the tomb that held you in bondage. Jesus wouldn’t have been in position for the ascension if He insisted on staying in that tomb. He was resurrected, and He moved on; we need to do the same. The day you decide to stop going back to what was, you’ll be more prepared to accept all that God has for you in the future. It’s not a question of what He has; it’s a question of whether you’re willing to let go of what was in order to grab what’s coming.
- Forgive…and Give Yourself Some Grace. In Mark 16, the angel told the women who went to Jesus’ tomb to go tell the disciples…and Peter…that Jesus will be in Galilee. The fact that Peter was separated (kind of) implies that somebody wouldn’t have included Peter in the message because he denied Jesus while He was on the cross. Yet, Peter was still included in the message. It’s an amazing picture of forgiveness & grace. Additionally, everybody says that forgiveness gives you power. How much? You never really find out until you really let it go. I’ve learned that it’s possible to think that you’ve forgiven somebody, when in reality, you’ve just decided that it hurt to much to face it, so you put it on the back burner. Here’s the issue with that: if it’s on the back burner, it’s right behind you. It’s silent (kinda sorta not really), but it’s still following you. How do I know it’s still following you? Because one person, or the mention of one situation, changes your entire attitude. You go into a mental battle every time that….thing pops up in your life. In fact, if I mention anything that reminds you of a person, place, or thing that has a hold on you, it’ll change your mindset, if it doesn’t change your day or your ability to enjoy every moment of your life. Anytime something has the power to pull you back or pull you down, you haven’t really forgiven it. Maybe you’ve forgiven the purpose, but you haven’t forgiven yourself. Most of the people I know (….and me too…but this is about them lol) hold themselves to (ridiculously) high standards. It’s a…thing…that we do. You know, that thing that says “I should’ve seen that”, “I should’ve known better”, or “I shouldn’t have been so stupid.” I say that this is a ridiculously high standard because many times, it robs us of our ability to…be human, and instead places a burden of guilt over us. God’s response to guilt is grace, but what good is grace if you refuse to forgive yourself & accept it? He’s dropped it. That other person? They’ve moved on. They may not even realize that they’ve hurt you. They probably don’t even know that you’re still struggling with this. Let’s assume (for the moment) that the only person holding on to this….is you. Are you going to let somebody else control your mindset? Or are you going to reclaim and conquer?
- Change Your Story. What’s your narrative about yourself? If I was sitting in front of you, listening to your story, would it sound like I was listening to a victim or a victor? So many times, we get caught up in the ‘woe is me’ mentality, that we never move into our victory. We spend more time painting a picture in which we are so oppressed that the victory doesn’t even matter. We adapt to the struggle to the point that we never change our story when we make it through. We keep the sad tone. We keep the sad story. Oh but today, I would strongly encourage you to change what you tell yourself about yourself. It’s more important than you realize. Remember, the story that you tell yourself about yourself determines who you will be. If you believe you’re a victor, you’ll act like a victor, and become a victor. Everything that you do, and everything that you’ve done started as a thought. The day that you change your story is the day that you change your life. Stop giving others the right to tell your story. Tell it for yourself, and make sure that everybody knows that God won the battle once again.
What happens between the resurrection & the ascension? The release.
Background Music: Moving Forward - Hezekiah Walker