Saturday, August 13: “Do Not Quench the Spirit”

if you have put your “hand to the plow” and are walking in the light, there is no looking back— the past is instilled into the present wonder of fellowship and oneness with God.” — My Utmost For His Highest

once we are reborn and, thus, transformed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we need to look onward and be firmly focused on our purpose — that of abiding in Jesus.  definitely no room for regrets.   no more what ifs or buts.  no more looking back whether to past sins or past laurels, to regret or pride.   no more vacillating.

nor can we continue loving the worldly, material, and fleeting pleasures.  what we have given up of the world, we leave behind for good.  we are a changed being… totally and irrevocably God’s, 24/7.

i used to be like this — talking about my grave sins and harrowing lapses in the past but more in the context of being fortunately able to escape them by the skin of my teeth– until a dear friend of mine told me straight, “joy,  stop talking about that already.  the Lord has forgiven you.  no need to keep looking back.  focus on the present and just make the most of whatever has come and will come your way.”

she was right.  her words were true and  liberating.  God doesn’t want us to dwell in the unhappy past nor keep going back to it — no matter how unfortunate, how scandalous, how unjust and how cruel.  God wants us to live the NOW with childlike trust and joy, receive the light of His Spirit, and reflect it back to those around us.

otherwise, it can get pretty tiring for the Spirit Who wants nothing but our unhindered growth, complete fulfillment, peace of mind, and eternal joy in Christ.

“my Lord, take away, once and for all, the memories of my sinful past and all the unhappiness and shame that came with it.  also, please do away with the memories of my successes and breakthroughs — they lock me in the past, keep me complacent and proud,  and stop me from working hard on the now and future.  but i thank You for them, dear Lord, because i would not be where i am today if it hadn’t been for them.  i desire nothing more than to dwell in You and You in me.  let me focus on You and Your will for me then.   keep my eyes, ears, and heart wide open to listen to the voice of  Your spirit and grant me the grace to go with YOUR flow, neither of the world nor of mine,  so that my life will be a continuing hymn of praise to You.  amen.”

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