by Tim Howard
A man named Joe became a Christian and was told that God would provide for him financially if he prayed. In response to that understanding the young man began to persevere in daily prayer and asked God to help him win the Lottery, which was over 10 million dollars. This went on for a month but nothing happened. Finally in frustration he told God how upset he was and he heard God speak in an audible voice. He said: “Joe, you have to meet me half way – please buy a lottery ticket!”
Sometimes we expect God to do a supernatural act when we aren’t willing to do our part and do what is naturally possible. I’m not an advocate of purchasing lottery tickets but if you should win 10 million dollars, what would you do?
We might have different answers to that question but I think all of us would use it for some similar things. First, I think all of us would pay off our past debt. The very first thing I would do is to wipe my slate clean, get free from my indebtedness that was incurred from my past and start over with a fresh start.
The second thing I think all of us would do is to buy something new and secure a future that is financially bright. Possibly a new home, a new car or visit a plastic surgeon and get a new you. Money in the bank does not guarantee a bright tomorrow in all areas but it can help ease some of the uncertainty in the practical dimension.
Looking at these things from a spiritual perspective I believe we would want the same things. All of us have a past that we would like to change – in part. If only we could go back and change some of the decisions we made, some of the experiences we had or some of the relationships we developed.
The Bible says our past is littered with sin. Sexual sin abounds. Many have chosen to live as they choose and resist following God’s path for sexual relationship. Addictions of all sorts have been troublesome because we try to medicate ourselves in a way that doesn’t produce positive results. Our past is filled with the sin of bitterness and resentment releasing a spirit of revenge. If you are reading this and exclude yourself from some of these sins or others – maybe you are dealing with the sin of Pride.
The Bible records a tremendous verse that addresses our past and our future. 2Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Notice the word ‘anyone.’ Paul is saying that no matter who you are, what sin has littered your past – sexual, addictions, bitterness, pride etc… You can be forgiven by Christ and have a new beginning for a renewed future.
In Christ your history doesn't determine your identity nor set your boundaries for the future. Anyone who walks with Christ will win the Spiritual lottery. You don’t need ‘luck’ to win. You simply need to put your faith in Christ. He will then wipe out your past sins – even though there may be some present day consequences and gives you something new – a bright future. The old has past and the new has come! I don’t know about you but that’s good news.