by Pastor Jeffrey Smith
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (ESV)
Our past is so much more than our just our mistakes. For example, many people went to college or got a Masters degrees in an area they are not currently working. Can anyone relate to this? You may have spent years preparing for a specific career path that you thought would be your whole focus, but your life does not look anything you planned. You may wonder to yourself “ Well, those years are lost. I will never get that time back.” The good news is God will use our past to equip us for his purpose.
The Bible is filled with countless examples where God redeems a person’s skills or profession for His glory. Theologians studied and believe that King David was one of the most gifted songwriters that ever lived. He was prolific in music and worship, but he was a shepherd by trade. He wrote songs in front of animals. Can you imagine David having concerts in front of sheep? He must have thought ”What am I doing, here? I am wasting my time. I’m just a Shepherd.” He had so much in his heart, be moved forward with his responsibilities.
As time moved along, David encounters a bear attacking his sheep, and he kills the bear. Later a lion tries to harm his flock, and he kills the lion. He learned combat skills while on sheep duty that led to one of his defining moments, killing Goliath. In hindsight, what appeared like wasted time was a divine set up. He was anointed king of Israel after spending so much time alone working with sheep. God used his skills as protective shepherd to care for Israel. His songs were also recorded in the book of Psalms.
In the New testament, Paul (or Saul) had a past as a Pharisee. He was one of the highest ranked scholars in Judaism and an enemy of Christians. Paul had an encounter with Jesus that transformed his life. God redeemed him and used Paul’s educational and religious background as a Pharisee to minister to religious people. He went on to plant churches and wrote two-thirds of the New Testament. Nothing in Paul’s life was wasted.
Similarly, God wants to use you to save the kind of people that you used to be. God will use all of your personal experiences, education, and skills for his glory. Nothing is in your life is wasted. God will redeem your history to change someone’s destiny. God will use your past to transform your future.