Back in 1963 I heard Norman Vincent Peale make a statement that contributed to my changed and changing life. I had been converted to Jesus Christ for less a year. Baggage, a Railroad baggage car load, troubled me. Misguided “Bible” students added to the inner turmoil with their assurances that, in effect, there are things in your past that disqualify you for service for Jesus. Thankfully the Lord provided good men and women who knew what the Bible teaches and used these men and women to encourage me to stay with my calling. One night as I drove through New York City on a Sunday night in my 18-wheeler, I heard Dr. Peale speaking via radio. Here’s what he said:
“Don’t waste time looking back and whining, ‘if only.’ Change your life by saying, ‘Next time!’”
Just the other day I was reminded of the same truth in different words when I read this:
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson.
Being far less than saintly during my life throughout the years until I was 20 and Christ took over, I had a lot to overcome. Bits and pieces of keys to victory over old life thoughts and actions came to me via study and teaching of various saintly people. Around 13 years into the new life a truth hit me on the noggin very hard. Here it is: The temptations of life do not find their power from Satan, he only has the power to excite the inner desire for what he is offering. The problem lies within my own heart, Satan merely throws the fuel on the fire. All lapses into that which tempt us has a root and inner desire for someone or something that we feel Christ will not give to us.
Prior to accepting Christ, I did not fall into these acts, but like many others dove into them while shouting “yippee.” When we resist Satan as he fans the fire, he will depart from us as He departed from Christ, for a while. He will be back, and it is then that we must cling to Christ’s truth as revealed in many verses, but especially here:
2Coritnians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV).
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
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