Your Past Should Not Limit You.

At times in life, we can be too quick to judge people based on what we see currently or might hear about them than showing them mercy when they are going through tough seasons. I was reflecting on the life of Jephthah who was a Mighty man of valor in Judges 11:1-8 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah. Gilead’s wife bore sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, “You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him. It came to pass after a time that the people of Ammon made war against Israel. And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Israel, that the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.
Then they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon. ”So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
From the above context of Scripture, Jephthah had gone through his share of drama as a young man, considering the family he knew had rejected him due to him being born by a harlot. I bet the rejection was so intense and this led him to flee to the land of Tob, where he ganged up with worthless men or let me say the wrong company.  I have witnessed people with great potential indulging in all manner of proclivities just because of the rejection they have faced, which only means whenever we allow the past to define us, the future becomes clouded, our dreams become twisted and our potential is hindered from being utilized in the right way and in the correct avenues. The enemy is never intimidated by our success but by our potential. He knew the right buttons to push to displace Jephthah, he knew the right people to use to discredit Jephthah but what he failed to encode, was Jephthah’s future.
Jephthah was an emotionally wounded warrior but that did not mean God had disqualified him from his divine assignment. God’s plan for him was still intact, reason being Jephthah was willing to fight for the people who had rejected him. It’s one thing to fight for people who have stood with you during your valley moments and mountain tops moments but it is totally a different ball game to fight for people who rejected you, hated you and even denied you your rightful inheritance. This was Jephthah predicament but what caught my attention is the attitude of His heart, instead of evaluating the whole situation from a position of offense he choose to look at the situation from a position of servant leadership-Judges 11:9-10  So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the Lord delivers them to me, shall I be your head? “And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.”
The Power behind purpose driven people is, they overlook somethings and look at the bigger picture. Jephthah had the choice to refuse to help his people but he chose to settle for what would deliver his people from their enemies. Most offended people tend to celebrate the down fall of those who have hurt them but this was never the case for Jephthah. He knew how to set his terms and conditions which I can say they were wise strategies that created an avenue for respect from people who once despised and rejected him.

In life, we have to learn how to set healthy boundaries even while helping those who hurt us before. We can’t entertain toxicity when in real sense we are trying to build.

It’s sad to be true but believers who are wounded, tend to make bad decisions based on their situations and they can act out in unreasonable ways like it was the case of Jephthah ganging up with rebels and David’s men in 1 Samuel 30:6, who conspired to stone him, yet he was going through the same predicament as they were. Their way of thinking did not mean they were not mighty men of valor in the first place, it only means in their wounded state they were prone to make an unreasonable judgement. Having wounded soldiers in an army does not mean we write them off! Yes, they can act out funny, they are vulnerable to all manner of attacks, deceptions, and temptations but if we don’t stand with them in prayer and encouragement from a place of genuine love, they end up being casualties. The army of Christ is not for perfect soldiers! But for soldiers who are willing to help other wounded soldiers to get on their feet and fight the good fight of Faith. Let’s pray for the Body Christ, for there to be healing, restoration, focus, and forgiveness. When all is said and done, God is not a respecter of persons, He can use anyone to accomplish His mandate irrespective of where they are coming from or what they have gone through.
Parting shot:- The devil cannot encode your future, he can try to mess up with what is current or manipulate you with your past if you give him that access but he can’t mess up with your ordained destiny. When he thought Jesus’ death was the final shot, he didn’t know Jesus’ resurrection was his final blow. The words of Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 54:17-No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord. Our heritage as God’s servants is beyond our human comprehension, weapons can be fashioned against us to displace us from our place of assignment but they shall not prosper.

As believers, we have to believe the future ahead of us is greater than our past which will give us the tenacity to stay focused and give God room to use us.If God found it fit to use Jephthah, He can still use you.

Love Reina Beaty.

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