Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great start to your new year. I’m so excited for 2018 and all that God has in store for this year, I truly believe that some great things are going to take place this year. At the beginning and ending of each year I find myself doing a lot of reflecting – I reflect on my life thus far, the previous year, my journey with God thus far and how far He has brought me. With that reflection comes a lot of thanksgiving to God for His goodness. Things aren’t always the way I want or expect them to be, I’ve had to give up a lot on this journey, and I’m still waiting on God to bring to past many of His promises, but just looking back and seeing God’s hand upon my life makes me extremely grateful.
Lately, as I’ve been reflecting on 2017, God has been speaking to me about having NO REGRETS. Every believer has had to give up one thing or the other to follow Christ; I don’t know a single believer that hasn’t had to give something up. For many of us, what we had to give up was something huge that involved our plans. Sometimes God asks us to release things to Him and we obey, but deep down we may carry some regret for having to give up what we wanted. The regret can linger for years, especially when you’re in a process of being broken down and the “Isaac” (the promised thing that replaces what you gave up) has not arrived yet. I definitely went through a period of regret. I didn’t even realize I had regret until the Lord showed it to me years ago. It wasn’t that I regretted saying yes to God, it was more so that I was still mourning the loss of a specific area that I had to give up. I went through several stages of mourning the loss of it and increasing in faith for what God had planned – it was a process. It also had a lot to do with trusting that God would get me from where I was to the destination that He has for my life. (Side note: When you say yes to God and your life starts looking crazy and He starts having you to do unconventional things, it’s not easy. A lot of times you doubt if God is even with you and you doubt the decisions He has led you to make. It takes serious FAITH to walk through this journey). It wasn’t until early 2017 that God completely broke off the remaining residue of doubt, fear, and regret. Ever since then I’ve been able to completely move forward and have even experienced breakthrough concerning things that God promised because I completely let go and just trusted Him despite how things looked around me. If we want to go forth into all that God has for us, we can’t have any regrets regarding what He has asked us to give up.
This blog post is really for true worshipers – lifestyle worshipers – those who have given up things, people, and their entire LIFE to follow after Jesus. Is there a part of you that regrets giving up so much? Is there a part of you that still looks back to what you used to have and who you used to be? Is there a part of you that wonders, “what if” or “did God really tell me to give up that career/job/school/aspiration/car/house/city etc.?” Your regret is most likely coming from a lingering fear concerning the plans that God has for you – fear that what He said may not really happen, or that He never promised it at all; fear that because things aren’t looking the way you think they should, maybe you missed Him somewhere along the way. But deep down inside, you know that God has spoken to you and He has led you to where you are today, you know that although you’ve had to give up a lot and things don’t look perfect right now, God is processing you and He has a plan. The regret may also be because of the cost of obedience such as being taunted/persecuted for giving something up or simply being obedient to God. Whatever the source of the regret may be, it is not how God wants us to view surrender. Surrendering to God is not something we should regret, it should be something we gladly do for the sake of following Christ.
The key passage that the Holy Spirit put in my spirit for this post is Philippians 3. I recommend going and reading the whole chapter but we’re going to just touch on a few verses. Philippians 3:7-8 says, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ… (NLT).” To follow Christ, you have to be willing to count everything you once had as nothing for the sake of knowing Him. You have to count knowing Him as much more valuable than what you want/wanted. If there is any place in your heart that still wants those things, you will continue to regret giving them up and might even go back to those things. I think at times we don’t understand the value of what we have in Christ, we don’t yet see the big picture. All we see is the loss and the suffering, but we fail to see just how much we gain in so many areas. Nothing can compare to saying YES to Jesus! Nothing we once had or will have outside of Him can amount to the security, joy, peace, love, and so much more that God has in store for us. Everything that we have in this life will fade away and all the comforts we could ever gain in this life will fade, but what we gain in Christ is everlasting. Do not regret ever saying yes to God. Each YES will require another “I count it all loss.” Each YES draws us closer to Him and makes us more acquainted with Him. Each YES teaches us more of His nature and shows us another aspect of Him that we hadn’t seen before. If you want to draw close to the heart of the Father, there can be no regrets for what you’ve given up in the past or for what He’ll have you give up in the future.
Verse 10 and 11 of Philippians 3 says, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (NKJV)” To experience a resurrection, you must first go through a death! (Again, I’m not talking to the type of Christians who just want to go to church on Sundays and have a form and fashion of godliness but no power, I’m talking to true worshippers who want to know and be known by Jesus for real, those who really want to be conformed to the image of the Son). If you want to experience His resurrection, you have to go through a dying process! Something has to die. You have to give up much because “to whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48)! If you want to know Christ in this way, you won’t be afraid of what you’ll have to give up or regret what you have given up.
Regret and fear will cripple you from going forward. It’ll make you afraid to obey God in the next thing because you’re still looking back at the last thing you had to give up. In my journey with this, the fear would arise the most when things looked craziest. Whenever I faced an obstacle or opposition and it was extremely challenging, I would wonder if God really wanted me where I was at the moment, I would wonder if I shouldn’t have done something that I knew deep down God had led me to do. You have to be willing to still say YES in the midst of obstacles and opposition with ZERO regrets! As you continue to obey God with no regrets, He will resurrect everything that you laid to death for Him and what He does will far outweigh what you gave up!
When you have no regrets and you go forth in faith, you now have a heart that is open to fully embracing the future that God has for you. When you’re willing to give up whatever and say, “God have YOUR way,” God is free to move in your life without your flesh getting in the way; you’ll be able to hear Him clearer and better discern His voice and leading because your heart is not clouded with other options. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil.3:13-14)” Until you “forget those things which are behind,” you can’t “reach forward to those things which are ahead” and you can’t reach the GOAL of the upward call in Christ Jesus. It’s a faith thing! Do you really believe that God has your best interest at heart? Do you believe that He has a purpose for asking you to give up what you have and that He has a much better plan for you? Until you’ve settled in your heart to stop looking back with fear and regret, it will be difficult for you to obey and trust God. If this is a real issue that you’re having, ask God to help you to trust Him more.
God desires a people who have NO REGRETS for living for Him and following Him, a people that make no apologies for having given up relationships, having said “no” to people they love, and walking away from their old lifestyle. It has to be an honor to you to have given up so much. There can be no wondering “what if” and no desire to go back to what you once had. All our desire has to be for Christ and what He has planned for us. All of our attention has to be forward to what He has ahead. We can miss out on so much because we’re still looking back at the past. God can’t even fully trust us until we count what we’ve lost as nothing. As I said earlier, it wasn’t until I completely let go of the residue of regret (and fear) that was still left in me that I began to see breakthrough in certain areas. It’s like God said: now that you’ve fully let it all go, I can release these things to you. Let go of your past and fully embrace what God has for you TODAY. I know personally that there is a grieving period when God tells you to release certain things, but you can’t grieve forever. You have to come to the point where you know, and you fully believe that it just wasn’t God’s best for you no matter how bad you wanted it. There has to be a JOY in surrender, not a fear or regret, but a JOY! We all have to come to the place where we joyfully surrender and lay down whatever God asks of us. There is so much more ahead of us than we even know, but we have to trust The One who is leading us.
Romans 12:1, one of my favorite verses, says: “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.” True worship is to give all of you to God. Don’t withhold yourself from Him because of fear of the future and regret of the past. Lay everything down, trust Him, and allow Him to have His way in your life. Having no regrets means being at complete peace with what God has done in your life and where He’s taking you. It means having no resistance or wishing you could go back to something you once had. For many people, it’s not that they want to go back to their old life, they just wish they could get certain things back that they gave up (like a career choice, job, money that came from a job, or certain comforts). But God wants us to get to the point of no looking back.
Christ gave it all for us, so why shouldn’t we give up everything for Him? He didn’t regret the sacrifices He had to make although it was painful (Matt. 26:36-46), He was willing to give it all up to obey the Father and save our souls, He knew that the suffering could not be compared to the glory that would be revealed in Him (Rom. 8:18)! In the same way, all the suffering that we go through for following Christ cannot come close to comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. Anytime you find yourself starting to regret or miss something that God asked you to give up, think of Christs’ journey in all He had to go through for us. Think of how much He trusted the Father and wanted to please Him; think of everything that was ahead of Him as He obeyed. Then think of your own life and how much is ahead of you as you obey. In the same way that the Father did not fail Jesus or lead Him astray, God will not fail or lead you astray. He already knows what is ahead of you. He knew what would happen way before you said yes for the very first time. He has already paved a path for you, you just have to follow Him on that path.
Go forth in obedience and live with NO REGRETS!
(If this is an area that you are really struggling with, I encourage you to read Philippians 3, Luke 9:57-62, and Proverbs 10:22. Also, listen to this song that I’ve posted below, I truly believe it’ll bless you).
- Back in November, I posted a blog called “God’s Way to Success” which was a continuation of a podcast I was featured in. I didn’t get to post the podcast at the time because it wasn’t ready but it’s ready now! I’ve posted the link at the end of the blog post which you can find here. To listen to it you can go directly to the podcast at this link: The Plannter Podcast: God’s Standard of Success
- Back in October, I started a business called Integrity By Design where I sell custom designed Christian apparel and more and encourage God’s people to live out their faith with integrity. You can find the website and catalog of products here. (You can also easily access it by clicking on the “SHOP” button to the left and tab in the menu). You can also follow us on social media: Facebook & Instagram. 20% of all profits go towards helping orphans around the world. My husband and I would love your support and prayer as we embark on this new journey. 😊