Acts 26:9-11 – “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.”
Paul standing before King Agrippa, tells the king his personal testimony of where he began and the change that took place in his life.
Something that amazes me about Paul is the extraordinary way in which he was able to overcome his past and be victorious in the present.
Today, Paul would have had to see counselor after counselor and probably would be on some sort of prescription drug to help him with the depression.
Read what he did to Christians in the verse above. He had them put into prison and helped in ensuring they were put to death.
What would you and I be doing if we had the past that Paul had? Would we be in a some state of constant depression? Would we live in the past and continue in defeat? The fact is none of us have a past like Paul yet we are constantly defeated by our past. How can we overcome and serve God in victory everyday?
Here are a couple of Bible principles?
1. Forget – This means to neglect. This is a conscious decision not to dwell on the past. If you neglect something for longing enough what happens? It dies. Example – A plant. If you neglect a plant by not watering it, it will eventually die. If you neglect your past by not watering/dwelling on it in your mind eventually you will kill the habit of dwelling on those bad memories.
Notice what Paul said “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13) Paul had a lot of baggage to forget.
2. Cast down – This means to demolish.
II Cor 10:5 – “Casting downimaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Paul was not just giving some advice on something he knew nothing of and had never had to exercise himself. No, Paul had a past that would have destroyed any future life he had in Christ if he had not cast down the thoughts that were against what God said.
What does this mean? It means you and I need to know what God says about us and live in that knowledge not in what our past or what people may say about us. This is the only way to live in victory.