Remember ye not the f ormer things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
This is the day God has chosen for His people to forget the past and ADVANCE into new spiritual territories:
- New territories of love
- New territories of faith
- New territories of unity among the Body
- New territories of operating in the gifts of the Spirit
- New territories of worship
- New territories of dedication and commitment
- New territories of obedience
- ∗ New territories of self-denial
For a moment, stop to think about the new spiritual territories you would like to enter.
Once you have determined where these territories are, you must set your eyes on them, ADVANCE AND DON’T LOOK BACK.
LOOK BEYOND INTO NEW SPIRITUAL TERRITORY
Regardless of where you are right now in your Christian experience, by faith begin to look forward into the new spiritual territories God wants you to enter and occupy. There is no limit to how far you can go, except the limitations you place on yourself. Satan cannot stop you! Oh, sure he will try to hinder you, but you have been given power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).When he gets in your way, just say to him, “Satan, get out of my way. I’m pressing on to a new spiritual territory!”
God made a promise to Abram. He told him, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art…” (Genesis 13:14).
God is also telling you to LIFT UP YOUR EYES from where you are right now spiritually. He wants you to look beyond!
Beyond to what? God told Abram, “Look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever” (Genesis 13:14-15).
Man has not yet even begun to enter into all that God has prepared spiritually for His people. God is saying to you “Don’t limit what I desire to do in your life. Don’t be satisfied where you are.
And, once you look beyond, you must arise and occupy that new spiritual territory God told Abram, “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (verse 17).
ENTER THE TERRITORY OF YOUR MEMORY AND TAKE THE VICTORY
You must now enter the territory of one of the most important areas of your mind…your memory
When God made man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, He gave him a perfectly functioning mind with unlimited capabilities. Today, scientists tell us that the average person uses only ten percent of his mind’s capabilities during his lifetime.
Actually, the chief function of the mind we’ll be discussing here is your memory which gives you the ability to retain information you have learned.
Look at the illustration. The file cabinet represents your memory. Notice there are basically two sections in your memory ..conscious and subconscious. Information you have acquired that is stored away in your conscious file can be recalled by an act of your will. However, information you have stored away in your subconscious mind cannot be recalled until something you see, hear, or touch triggers your memory and you are able to remember.
People, places, special events, favorite toys and pets you were exposed to as a child are recorded away in your subconscious file. For example, as a child, you may have had a special pet dog that had three white paws and one black one.
Imagine one day while you are out walking, you see another dog that also has three white paws and a black one. Seeing that dog triggers your memory about the dog you had as a child and brings that information to your conscious file.
Our memory is a tremendous, powerful force God wants us to use to build up His kingdom on earth today. God wants us to store away in our minds His Word, His wisdom, and knowledge about Him.
To be able to pursue the enemy in the territory of our memory and experience total restoration, we must know our enemy and his strategies.
Satan’s major strategies in attacking your memory are:
- To chain you to your
- To cause you to remember things you should forget.
- To cause you to forget things you should remember.
THROW OFF THE CHAINS OF THE PAST
Before a Christian can arise and march out into new spiritual territory, he must be willing to throw off the chains of the past.
One of the major strategies Satan will use to hinder you from going forward and obtaining new spiritual victories is to attack your memory. He will try to chain you to the past.
He will remind you of all the times you have failed God.
And, unless you are willing to let go of all the hurts, grudges, critical attitudes and fears that have developed as a result of the things that have happened, you will be chained to the past.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul was speaking of his determination to forget about the past so he could continue toward his goal of obtaining spiritual perfection and winning the prize (Philippians 3:12-14).
The type of forgetting to which Paul was referring is a constant, deliberate discarding of all thoughts including past problems and defeats.
This forgetting of the past required Paul to take full control of his memories. He would have never obtained his tremendous position of spiritual maturity if he had not been willing to throw off the chains of the past, and consistently bring thoughts of his past into captivity and submission to the Word of God.
As we review some of the events in his life, we can recognize there were many memories which could have chained him to the past.
There were failures:
- He was largely responsible for the persecution of the Early Church. He went into the houses of Christians and dragged them to prison and was responsible for their deaths
(Acts 26:10-11, Acts 8:3).
death of Stephen, who became the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:57-58, 8:1).
There were battles:
- He was beaten five ..each time he received 39 stripes (II Corinthians 11:24).
- He was stoned
(II Corinthians 11:25).
- He was shipwrecked three times
(II Corinthians 11:25).
- He was often homeless, hungry, thirsty, naked
(I Corinthians 4:11).
All of these past failures and battles in Paul’s life could have bound Paul like heavy chains so that he would not have been able to press on to victory. Had he continually looked back to all the times he had thrown Christians into prison and watched them die, he would have been chained to the past by guilt and condemnation.
Had he continually looked back to all the battles he faced…the pain, suffering and physical exhaustion… he would have been chained to the past by fear and discouragement.
But Paul didn’t.
After going through all these things, he said,”I’m going to forget them. I’m going to continually take authority over these memories of the past.
“I’m not going to allow my mind to be filled with my past failures or weaknesses. God’s grace is sufficient for me…, ‘for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:10).
“I’m not going to allow my mind to be filled with memories of all the things I suffered…all the things I gave up to serve Christ. I count all things but loss…the sufferings of this life cannot be compared with the glory that will be revealed in me (Romans 8:18).
In your own life, have you allowed Satan to bring up your past failures or battles? Are you holding grudges against people who have hurt you?
Are you so chained to fears concerning past failures until you are afraid to step out in faith to work the works of God. Because of the pain and suffering you have faced, are you chained to the past through hidden bitterness and resentment against God?
All of these things are like heavy weights or chains which will hinder you from moving on into new spiritual territory. They will cause you to keep your eyes on your problems instead of on Jesus, and you will become weary in your mind.
I warn you…don’t allow yourself to become spiritually weary. Weariness will defeat your mind!
God wants you to draw a line on the past. Forget the failures and the battles. Let go of the grudges, hurts, critical attitudes. Throw off the chains of the past. Surrender them in prayer to God to be set free.
TAKE AUTHORITY OVER MEMORIES OF PAST SINS AND FAILURES
One of the major tactics Satan uses to attack your memory and chain you to the past is to cause you to remember things you should forget!
His objective is to cause you to live in fear and condemnation. As Paul started out in his ministry I can imagine Satan coming to him and saying: “You can’t preach, Paul.
Nobody will listen to you now Don’t you remember how you persecuted the Church? Don’t you remember how you stood by as they stoned Stephen?”
As you begin moving by the Spirit into new spiritual territories, Satan will cause you to remember your past sins and failures. The moment you decide to step out in faith to witness, set up a Bible study, lay hands on the sick, or visit those who are in prison…he will remind you of your past.
Satan will try to bring up past sins or hurts you thought you had forgotten, which are actually filed away in your memory in your subconscious file. He will bring up the past by placing something in your way to trigger your memory and bring it out of the subconscious into the conscious file. To do this, he may use a past acquaintance, or expose you again to the very temptation which caused you to sin.
Tell Satan to get on his side of the line! Rebuke him in the Name of Jesus and tell him you refuse those memories!
EXERCISE YOUR MEMORY
Another tactic Satan uses is to cause you to forget things you should remember. His objective is to weaken you by stealing the Word from your heart and cause you to walk in disobedience. Before the children of Israel went in to possess and OCCUPY the land God had promised them, he gave them directions concerning specific things they were to remember. Open your Bible to Deuteronomy, Chapter Eight. Read the entire chapter aloud. Underline the words “remember” and “forget” in these verses.
REMEMBER THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD
The first thing the Lord told them to remember were the lessons they learned during the 40 years wandering in the wilderness (verses 1-5).The reason they did not enter into the Promised Land and were forced to wander in the wilderness was because of their fear, which led to disobedience (Numbers 14:9). As a result of their disobedience, God led them around in circles and refused to allow them to enter the Promised Land.
REMEMBER GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS
In verses 6-11, the Lord warned them that when they entered into this new land flowing with milk and honey…where there was no lack (verse 9), that they should remember to keep…obey…His commandments and to fear Him.
REMEMBER GOD’S DELIVERANCE
God also wanted His people to remember the miracles He used to deliver them out of Egyptian bondage (verses 14-16). He wanted them to recognize Him as the source of their strength. He knew once they had entered the Promised Land and began to prosper that they would be tempted to be filled with pride and say: “My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth” (verse 17).
They were instructed to REMEMBER that He is the One Who gave them the power to take possession of and enjoy the abundance of the land.
Satan will try every method possible to cause you to forget God’s Word. Why? Because it is the key to TOTAL RESTORATION.
Remember these elements of God’s deliverance:
- Restoration is not automatic
- You must fight Satan
- It will take spiritual energy
- Spiritual energy comes from knowing the truth
- The truth is Jesus, the written and Living Word of God
Satan knows that once you hide God’s Word in your heart…store it away in your memory…that you will be able to grow up unto the full stature of Jesus Christ, advance into his territory, conquer him, and occupy the spiritual territory that legally belongs to you.
Don’t allow Satan to deceive and lie to you about your memory. He will try to make you think you can’t memorize God’s Word…that your memory is failing you…that you might as well not even try.
God has given you a memory…the ability to learn His Word, to store it away, to retain it and to retrieve it.
But, like a muscle you must EXERCISE it, to strengthen and improve it. You should develop a regular system of storing away God’s Word in your memory. And, once a Scripture has been committed to your memory, you should review it on a regular basis so that Satan will not steal if from you.
After you have begun to exercise your memory by memorizing Scripture don’t stop there. A weapon isn’t any good until you pick it up and use it. Every day, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance the Word you need to be victorious for that day:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall t each you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.