In over 20 years of counseling various in-patient, out-patient, and in home settings, I have heard countless stories of many who are tormented by their pasts. The torment takes on many forms--explosive anger, phobias, emotional avoidance, anxiety, substance abuse, social isolation, depression, and so on-- manifestation of a soul in torment--locked in the past and resigned to a life of internal torture and imprisonment.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then I have good news and the key to unlock the emotional prison door. Ready?....
...You are already free.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah), Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy).."
--Luke 4:18 (AMP)
Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, accomplished all on the cross. That is why He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). His death bought (I Corinthians 6:20) our forgiveness, liberty, healing, and reconciled us back to the Father. Jesus' life, death, and resurrection gives us access to the abundant life that is found only in God (John 10:10)
"...in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."--Psalm 16:11 (KJV)
Through Christ, we have been given access to everything we could possibly need to live lives of victory, prosperity, health, wellness, and abundance.
Here are some life changing truths to consider in overcoming tormenting thoughts and holding your past against you:
- God is a forgiving God. (Psalm 99:8)
- God is poised and ready save, rescue, and deliver (Isaiah 59:1)
- When God forgives, he forgets (Micah 7:19) God does not run tapes or hold our past against us.
- When we turn to God with sincere prayers of repentance and humility, he promises to heal the wounds of our soul. (II Chronicles 7:14)
- Nothing and no one can ever separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:31-39)
- The enemy of our soul is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), but there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1)
Many people remain in bondage because they cannot believe that these truths would apply to them. This is where faith must be activated. Even if we don't "feel" it, we receive the truths of God's word by faith:
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
--Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
"And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him."--Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
Lastly, often there is an instinctive tendency to run and hide from God--the only One who has the power to forgive, heal, and liberate. This is characteristic of humanity's fallen nature, as evidenced in the lives of Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:8-10). Running from God opens the door to torment.
We overcome holding our past against us and gain freedom from tormenting thoughts by:
1. Running to God in prayer and repentance
2. Confessing our brokenness and receiving his forgiveness
3. Activating our faith
4. Talking it through. Share your story with your pastor, clergy person, or counselor.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess that I have been holding my past against me and have been living in torment. I confess that I have been hiding and running from you. I pray that you would forgive me of______________. I am sorry.
I receive the truths of your word and embrace the liberty and freedom that I already have in Christ. I grab hold of them by faith.
Thank you for your unfailing, unrelenting love, compassion, and pursuit of me. I thank you that I have worth, value, meaning, and importance in your eyes (psalm 139:14). I disallow intrusive tormenting thoughts to be at the helm of my soul. I decree and declare the word of God over my life that this a day of new beginnings (Isaiah 43:19).
Amen and so be it!