Burning the Bridges to Your Past

by | May 30, 2013 | Blogs, The Plumb Line

When I was a small child, my grandmother used to read me Bible stories—and not from books with large letters and colorful cartoons. I’m talking about King James Version stories from her tear-stained, oversized, white leather-bound Bible.

As I was so young, the only passage I clearly remember was about Lot’s wife. Considering Jesus instructed us in Luke 17:32 to “remember Lot’s wife” in the end times, I am grateful for the early impression on my soul. Indeed, Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt as she looked back on Sodom and Gomorrah engulfed in flames has burned in my mind for decades now.

The Holy Spirit reminds me of this verse at key times when I need to burn the bridges to my past or risk paralyzing my soul with thoughts and memories of things from which the Lord has clearly called me out. There’s a saying in the world that urges, “Don’t burn your bridges.” But sometimes we need to burn them with a passion to follow God into a new thing unhindered.

When Familiar Spirits Speak

Lately, I’ve noticed a pull to my past. Memories arise of the good old days and what it would be like if things had turned out differently. That’s the enemy working to take me back—in my soul—to a place from which God delivered me. The enemy sometimes follows those thoughts with phone calls and emails from past associates. The goal is to get me to look back, to reminisce, to cling to what was good amid the bad. But I remember Lot’s wife.

If God has called you out of a place, if God has called out of a relationship, if God has called you out of anything: Don’t give in to the wanderings of the soul that wonder how it could have been or what it would be like if you went back now. Don’t look back. It paralyzes your soul. It’s impossible to move forward and look back at the same time. It tears you apart. And that’s what the enemy wants. Remember Lot’s wife.

Of course, sometimes I talk about my past as a testimony of where God has brought me from, but not as a memorial to where I was or who I was with—and only when the Holy Spirit leads me to share it for His glory. When we dwell on the past for too long, we open our minds to confusion and all sorts of emotional turmoil. If we chose to leave, we begin to doubt our decision. If we were left, we ponder what we could have done differently. Either way, it’s paralyzing. Again, it’s impossible to look forward and look back at the same time. Remember Lot’s wife.

Following the Spirit of God

All that said, I don’t believe in burning bridges unless there’s no other choice. The kingdom of God is built on relationships. We need each other. The decision to burn a bridge with anyone, especially believers, should not come easy. Indeed, it should come only through much prayer and even weeping. But there are times to set the bridge aflame.

In obedience to the Holy Spirit, I once left a church where I had many friends. The leadership painted me with the brush of disobedience on my way out the door. Many members were told I had turned my back on Christ. They burned the bridge between them and me. It was painful, but it was for my own good. It was God protecting me from an unhealthy church system. God was delivering me out of bondage, and the bridge had to be burned so I would not be tempted to go back.

By the same token, I was once forced to burn a bridge with a good friend who began claiming—and telling everyone—that I would be his wife. I knew God had not called me to marry this man whose wife had recently walked out on him. He didn’t realize it, but he was latching on to me to ease his pain. After some months of asking him to stop his pursuit, I finally had to burn the bridge. Led by the Holy Spirit, I cut off all communication. It wasn’t pretty or easy, but it was necessary. It was difficult to lose a good friend, but it was God’s will. Some months later, he and his ex-wife got remarried. God forbid I didn’t heed the voice of the God to burn that bridge!

Pressing On Toward the Goal

Burning bridges isn’t always the right response, but sometimes it’s the only response. If God wants reconciliation, He is mighty enough to work it out. The key is to remain sensitive to His Spirit.

Whether we’re moving on from sin, moving on from places or moving on from relationships the Lord has shown us are not His will for our lives, we need to exit peaceably as much as it depends on us. We need to show the character of Christ as we move on. Sometimes you can move on and still maintain relationship—but sometimes you have to burn bridges so you won’t go back to a thing God has made abundantly clear is harmful to your relationship with Him. We have to press on.

Paul put it this way: “But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind” (Phil. 3:12-15). Amen.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at  jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website hereYou can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important...
10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Roaring Heart Podcast with Anthony Hart

The Roaring Heart Podcast with Anthony Hart

The Roaring Heart Podcast With Anthony Hart The Roaring Heart Podcast is a prophetic podcast reflecting the heart of the Holy Spirit in people. It’s a unique mix of interviews, prophetic declarations, prayers, heartfelt monologues, spoken word excerpts, and soaking...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]