Friday, January 22, 2016

Let it go

By Odon Bulamba
Isaiah 43:18

Isaiah was a human being like you and me and for some reason God decided to use this man.  God wrote (in vs 18) don’t remember the former things, don’t consider things of the old.  Other versions will say, forget the past and don’t hold onto the past. 


I would like to ask you together with me to take a breath in.  Take in as much air as possible and then release it and again take in a deep breath and release it and again take in a deep breath but his take hold onto your breath and I will see how long you can hold it.  You start to feel that the longer you hold it – the more it becomes a challenge.  Your body will start to fight because something is in but nothing is going out.


Everything that comes into our lives must go out. One day you were conceived and then you were born.  You eat food and it comes out.  You drink water and it comes out.  You walk into your house and then you go out.  You start something and you will also come out of that starting point. 


Why does this God tell us to forget about the past? We all have a past.  Our past has a story.  Our past started from one day.  Even before we were conceived, our mothers can say, “While I was pregnant I went through this and this.  When you were born, I was in so much pain.  When we were at the hospital, the doctor said this.  When you were born, you had no hair”.  We have a story and past and that past grows bigger the more we are growing old.


Every new level of your life will bring a new devil.  Jesus was a baby and the more He was growing old, He was given more wisdom and then more temptation.  When you were young it was up to your mum to feed you, put you to bed, make your bed but after a few years your mother makes you do your own bed.  No more nappies and you now have to go to the toilet.  So as you grow, you have challenges.


Every year the child is growing old, parents are pushing the child to meet challenges.  When you were born, they took you like a baby, protecting you and allowing you to crawl on the ground but they wouldn’t let you eat what was on the ground and then they would teach you how to sit.  How important is sitting, imagine not learning how to sit.  Mum teaches you to sleep by changing your position in the cot.


Then walking, you make a few steps and you fall and mum says come on and you try.  Then after walking you will learn to run.  Your parents don’t teach you to run but circumstances make you run like playing with other children and the more you run, the more puffed you get and your heart works so hard.  What is the relationship between your feet and heart, what causes your heart to pump so fast when your heart is not running?


The child slowly forgets when they were babies and when they were conceived.  We have forgotten our first pair of shoes or what we wore when we were four years old.  Sometimes you see a photo of yourself at three years old and you can’t remember the day. 


Isaiah is telling us to forget our past because we human beings and we mostly stick on bad pasts.  When someone does something wrong, it’s not easy to forget about it. We want to hold onto it for years and tell people about it and express our anger and problems which happened 20 or even 50 years ago but all the good things we bury.  Michelle has done good stuff for me but whenever I see her, I remember one small wrong thing that she did many years ago.


Why do we hold onto the past?  Today God is telling us to forget about your past.  If you don’t forget, you will not be a winner but will be a loser.  When you think about the wrong things that were done against you, you will be the one who will feel bad, not the other person.  You will start to feel angry and want revenge.  That person has no idea of your feelings.


As Jesus was young, wisdom started to increase day after day as He grew up.  The more you grow, the more you face challenges.  When you become a boss, the more challenges you face.  If you cannot face small challenges then you cannot manage a group of people from different backgrounds with several problems.  To become a manager is a good thing but you will face a lot of problems.


Many will say it’s my life, I will manage it myself but how well are you in managing it.

If you don’t practice, you will lose it.  A few years ago I went to Te Rapa for swimming lessons and they put me in level 0 of swimming class with children of the age of 7 months and one year.  I couldn’t manage my feet to kick, I would just sink.  People who are bigger than me can float, why not me.  This lady told me to practice.  It will be impossible to forget your past if you don’t practise.


It will be impossible to let it go if you don’t make the decision to let it go.  That decision only kicks in when you tell yourself, no stop it Odon, let it go.  How many things do you have in your heart and you think about them day and night. God I wish I could see my father, or daughter to look like this.  You hold in your heart a boiling water and you feel angry.


The book of Mark says you will never be forgiven if you never forgive.  You can do all the good things around the world but if you never forgive then God your Father won’t forgive you and you can only forgive when you put the past aside and start a new side.


Chickens are birds that can go everywhere trying to find food by pecking at the ground.  When you try to tell them to leave and to stop to eat, they will just make a noise and come back to eat again.  One danger is that chicken will eat what they don’t even see.  The eyes of chicken are on the side but their beak is in front. 


What you put in your life, it is best to look at it first.  Make sure you understand it clearly.  When you read the Word of God, you are feeding your soul – do you really stop to read it.  Do you check it before taking anything wrong in your heart?  Today we have a big number of people who have read several wrong things and it now becomes hard to let it go.  I can tell you about religions and misinterpretations of God and you wonder why God holds onto this.


Jacob had a brother who was the first born.  Jacob offered his brother some soup and said can I become your older brother.  Jacob and his mother lied to his father who was blind and the father blessed Jacob instead of older one. In Malachi and Romans, God chose Jacob and rejected his brother.  God allowed such a sin to be done in order to fulfil His will.  Why didn’t God punish Jacob’s mum for misleading her husband.


Some people misinterpret that to mean that you can sin a little bit because look at what God did for Jacob.  When you learn such a thing you should have discernment – should I stick on this preaching or let it go?


In your life, how many things do you not want to let go.  In your personal life, house etc.  Lebon loves to eat Indian food and he will tell you, he can’t wait to get paid so he can get Indian food.  He loves Chicken masala and will enjoy it but after five days his salary is gone and he is now in overdraft because he used the money eating Indian food.  The money that was needed for other things, was invested in food that would go in two minutes.  He didn’t want to let that go – it was a challenge.  He felt that if he didn’t eat Indian food, he was missing something.


You and I, maybe, have something we hope on and can’t survive without it, something we don’t want to let it go. Those who smoke will tell you they can’t quit.  Those you love to sleep will tell you to wake up at 6am is a punishment.  Those who watch movies will wonder how to go to bed without watching a movie.  Or telling children to be without their phones for just two minutes.  Kids today walk along the street texting, people are talking to them and they are texting.  Michelle can tell Zoe, you are grounded and I will take your phone from you and Zoe will become angry with her mum. 


A few things with your neighbour and yourself, why don’t you want to let them go.  Whenever it’s late at night, some will turn on their computer to watch porno and it becomes a part of their lives and they watch until 2 or 4am and then at 8am they have to go to work.  Imagine, no sleep for weeks, a person will get a headache and become sick but because they don’t’ want to stop, they keep doing it.  They say they can’t overcome it.  The secret to overcoming is to disconnect the internet from your home.  The first two weeks is hard but then they will come back to a normal life.


Do you want to grow in Jesus or do you want to lose?  You have to let things go.  Don’t hold onto history because God is “I am who I am” which means He is present and He is asking us to live a present life.  Look what is around you and deal with that.


I have been in meetings with big people such as sports people, presidents etc and then they will be fighting but when it is lunch time, they will stop for food and eat together.  They were fighting and then they are eating like nothing.  John Key (prime minister of New Zealand) and Andrew Little (leader of the opposition) exchanging words on tv but then they shake hands like nothing happened.


Those who grow in God will never allow problems between others to stop them from working together.  The actions of others that are bad, do not represent the person so continue to love that person.  But if you hook those small problems and hold onto them, you will start to hate people. 


My mum taught me, I love you but I don’t like your action.  Get rid of that action to gain my 100% love.  I don’t want you to hold onto that action.  When I gave birth to you, you were not like that.


What history are you holding onto? You have to be careful with what you hold in your heart.  There is a lot to focus on and if you don’t pay attention instead of you letting the problem go, the problem will make you go away.


In Jeremiah, God was giving the message to the people. Chapter 1: last verse, they will fight against you but shall not prevail against you for I am with you to deliver you.  Who will fight against you?  Not people but their words and actions.  Trish can say, I have a problem with Michelle but Michelle does not have a problem with Trish.  Trish has a problem with the words, not the person.  The words and actions are the first enemies and that is our first fight.


Never make a human being an enemy.  Consider their actions bad but don’t consider the person bad because we have to love our enemies and pray for them.  How can you change hatred to love, it’s not easy.  It’s easy to love when you hate the actions but love the person.  Turn the page and move forward.


I read an assignment of Michelle when she was at Massey University.  After reading one page, I had to turn it in order to read the next page and move on.  You have to read the page but then also turn the page in order to continue and get more information.  If you don’t, then there will never be progress and you will never complete the book and the book will never turn the page for you.  You have to turn it yourself.


Life is like a book with only a few pages. One page turned over is like one year gone and every year is different and we are not the same.  Tyrone can you exactly repeat what you said 20 mins ago?  He can’t, it is gone.  We need to make things to go, let it go. Everything you are accumulating here, God will open for you and say this is what you are collecting for eternity.


Treat other people like you treat yourself.  We all make mistakes and when we do, how tough are we on ourselves?  If I steal from someone, I don’t mind but when someone steals from me, I will be upset.  When someone does something wrong against you, be ready to forgive because that is the key to being forgiven.  Don’t only forgive but also forget.


I invite you to pray for yourself and family and each other here, pray that God will help us to let it go, if we have problems, help us to let it go.

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