14Jesus answered, Even if I do testify on My own behalf, My testimony is true and reliable and valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. Ė John 8:14 (AMP)
I have yet in my life experience to hear this term in anything other than a negative tone. There is nothing positive, supportive or encouraging about it. It is a statement that is made to cut you to the core, bring you to your knees or take you down a notch. So, youíve forgotten where you came from, huh?
The same people that will stand there, arms crossed, head cocked to the side and say this to your face or behind your back, are the same people who are there when trials come. More than likely, they are twisting Godís word, trying to tell you that He brought this trial upon you in order to bring you down a level.
These individuals, although holding a form of godliness, are playing the role of the devilís advocate. Itís possible that they believe they are offering correction but in reality they are tearing you down. Sadly, they are the ones who say they are for you but are actually waiting for the opportunity to say, I told you so.
Somewhere along the lines of God removing our sins as far from us as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12, we have interpreted this as forgetting our past.
Although I have never stated this directly to the source, every time this statement has been focused on me, I have one question that rings through my mind. Donít you think if I could forget where I came from I would? Well, at least that is what I used to think.
Jesus life speaks volumes today because we know where He came from. The Son of God, from His heavenly home, in complete perfection, safe, secure and pure, left it all to come here for us. Think about this for a moment. He could have just come as a full grown man and gave His life for us on the cross. But He didnít.
He was born of a woman, just like us. He was raised in a family with family interactions, just like us. He went through all of lifeís motions and emotions, just like us. Why? So He could relate to us and us to Him.
What good is your witness if you cannot relate to someone?
The addict delivered can relate to those still in bondage because he has been there. The survivor of sexual abuse can love someone through their pain compassionately because God has loved them through. The couple that has made it through infidelity by Godís grace can walk beside other couples and offer strength and encouragement. The preachers kid who was raised in church, blazed a path for hell yet turned back to the call of God on their life has walked a road that will bring others hope.
Jesus knew where He had come from and knew where He was going. That is why His testimony was reliable.
What about Esther? Had she forgotten where she came from when she became Queen, would she have stepped in to save her people? Her compassion for where she had been, and who she was, is what enabled her to be used by God to save the Jewish people.
You may think that God could only use perfect people who have served Him all of their lives. You may think He could never use the abused, the addict, the cheater, the murderer or the uneducated. If you believe that then I am left to believe you do not read your Bible very often.
Letís just take a glimpse at one Scripture.
27[No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 1 Corinthians 1:27
God, deliberately, on purpose because He has a purpose has chosen and selected those things. Why: Because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! -2 Corinthians 12:9
The purpose of His forgiveness is to deliver you from the guilt and shame of what you have done. He does not hold you accountable for it. That release from guilt and shame is what should motivate us to glorify God for His forgiveness in spite of our sin.
Do you think Paul ever forget where he came from? No! It was the great mercy and favor of God poured out on Paul despite his past that enabled him to effectively lead others to Christ. Why: because he could relate to them.
Our past, in combination with the forgiveness of sin from our great God and the mercy, grace and favor of our precious Jesus, and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit is a potent blend. Your past without forgiveness is just bondage. Your past with His forgiveness is power and freedom!
The next time you are faced with someone who looks at you and says, ďYouíve forgotten where you came from, huh?Ē Donít give the devil an inch by letting guilt and shame consume you. Donít think in your heart, ďI wish I could forgetĒ. Remember that very thing God has delivered you from is used for His glory, itís your ministry. If you forget that, what good is it anyway?