Want to succeed in life? Let go of your past

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Behind every great man and woman, there is a story. Life is not always a smooth sail and the road to success is not a rosy one. That’s why I believe that behind every successful person is an overcomer – a person who did not allow his or her past experiences or whatever life brought their way to stop them. Instead, they chose to fight and they overcame. No one will celebrate you because you chose to sit down and relax as things were going downhill or you gave up. Those who are celebrated and honored are the ones who persevered until they got victory. It means that they did not settle for less because the road became rocky and rendered impassable, they kept on persevering despite the difficulties, they focused on their goals and pushed themselves until they won.

One of the things such have overcome is their pasts. Many of the successful people you see around have worse pasts, than yours even, but they overcame them. Their birth places, upbringing and growing up is nothing to write home about and if their achievements were to be gauged on that, then it would prove to be impossible. No one plays an important role when it comes to our places of birth. You can do nothing about your past – you can’t change it because it’s all gone, but you can do something about your future. Difficulties do not come our way to discourage us or to put us down. They come our way to give us tenacity and to make us tougher and stronger​ for the journey ahead.

Many of us are trapped in our pasts and we have allowed them to play an important role into shaping us to what we have become today. That’s why we think the way we think and act the way we act because of our past experiences. We use them as an excuse on why we can’t do something or explore other opportunities thus limiting ourselves. Others use them to determine how our future will look like thereby obstructing ourselves.

Refusing to let go of our pasts, whether it’s hurt, pain, rejection, abuse or whatever it is and allowing them to become a part of us is fatal.

When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land. Destroy all their stone and metal idols and all their places of worship…but if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those that are left will be as troublesome as splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides and they will fight against you (Numbers 33:51-51, 55).

God commanded the children of Israel to drive out all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. Allowing these people to live among them would be fatal, God had warned. They would become obstacles in their lives thereby limiting their growth, expansion and worse still drawing them away from their God and true worship.

An inhabitant is someone or thing who lives in a place. This means they are settled, and are a part and parcel of that particular place. Some of the things we have experienced in our lives have become ‘inhabitants’. They’ve taken over our minds and hearts and we, in turn, have accommodated them, meaning we’ve allowed them to become a part and parcel of us. We may feel comfortable and think they are harmless, but they are not.

The enemy uses them as a weapon to fight against us. He uses them to hold us back, keep us in bondage, hold us captive and prevent us from progressing. Not only that, God warns that failure to destroy them as He has commanded will lead to our own destruction. This is the reason why we have to shake off the old and embrace the new. The word says that anyone in Christ Jesus is a new creation – the old is gone, the new has come. You cannot become a new person when you keep embracing your past. Let it go. It’s a battle that’s worth fighting and in Christ Jesus, victory is guaranteed.

I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to Himself. Of course, my brother’s and sisters, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above (Philippians 3:12-14).