Some time ago I ran across some old photos of myself. I laid them out in the progression of ages from about 3 to my high school years, watching myself grow taller, with a variety of hairstyles and some really strange fashion sense. I saw something else. Somewhere between 10 and 15, the girl in those photos took on a dark demeanor and I remembered my past – things that had been done to me, and things I did to myself.. Glancing up into the mirror on my dresser, I thought how much I physically looked like the girl in the pictures, but I no longer recognized those dark eyes. God said, “That is because that’s not who you are anymore. Now you are mine.”
In Ephesians 5:8, Paul said, “You were once darkness…” Then he gives the contrast: “but now…you are light in the Lord.” Like painting a before and after portrait he said, “You are not who you once were. Now you are in Christ.”
One of Satan’s favorite ploys is to assault us with our past, to tell us that we will always be who we were and there is no point in trying to resist those old familiar sins. “You know deep down, you still want it. You haven’t changed. You are bound to your past. You are bound to me.” But if you belong to Jesus Christ, you are free from your past. You are a child of light, purified from all your sins (1 John 1: 7). Where you were once held captive to sin, you are now bound up in God’s love. You have the power to say no to sin.
In Philippians 3:13, Paul gives us the secret to walking in our new identity when he says, “one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on…” We can forget what is behind because “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)”
Beloved, I want so much for you to understand that because Jesus Christ has completely removed all your transgressions; you are a new creation in Christ, no longer bound to a painful, sinful past or those dark desires. You have light in your eyes, and God’s love shines on your face. Because you are not who you once were. Now you are His.