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Dredging

Many of us vividly remember the televised excavation of the remains of the Titanic. The process took several years beginning in the late 1980s. The machines used to dredge up the Titanic’s treasures didn’t bring up sparkling jewels and pristine artifacts. Many of the first grasps at the remains result in mucky, slimy sand and silt, decomposed and vile portions of the undersea debris. It’s not pretty to look at.

These dredged up, broken and filthy things are like our past sins and regrets. Repentance and forgiveness puts them far beneath the ocean’s floor, so to speak, intended to never more be gazed upon. Yet time after time we allow the enemy to dredge up our past mistakes, unearthing them and waving them in our faces. This leaves us hollow, hopeless, downcast.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

When we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, when we ask Him to forgive our mistakes and pardon our shortcomings, He casts them aside to be forgotten. Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” He will not remember, and it pains Him to see us do so.

God promises that when we confess and turn away from our wrongs we are made fresh and clean, white as snow. Jeremiah 31:34 promises us that He “will forgive (our) wickedness and will remember (our) sins no more.” We can live freely, with blatant disregard for the skeletons in our closets. It’s a path we must choose to take, and it’s the path that leads to true freedom in Christ.

It is a daily, conscious decision to take on Paul’s attitude toward past slip-ups: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). It’s necessary to prevent spiritual stagnation and to achieve the deep joy Christ desires for us to have.

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