Christine Caine — Moving Past Your Past
Thank God for this opportunity to talk about moving past our past because that's what we want to do. If you're going to step into the future that God has for you, you've got to move beyond where you are. And the only way to move beyond where you are is to deal with where you've been so that you can step into where you're going. So we're going to dive right into the Word together. I love the Word of God.
If you've just joined us, you've been flicking channels and you didn't mean to get me and you thought, what is this accent here? This is kind of how you really speak English. I'm from the land down under, Sydney, Australia. And to all our Australian viewers at LIFE Outreach International, hi! I'm so glad, I'm one of us. It's fantastic. But I'm actually teaching from America where they say y'all. So I'm learning to y'all y'all.
So we're going to Second Kings; from the other parts of the world that say "two kings," I've had to learn to say Second Kings. So we're going to go to Second Kings chapter seven and we'll start at verse one.
The Bible says: Elisha said... (so here we have the prophet Elisha.) Elisha said, hear the Word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and to seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria. So I want you to know where we're going to be. We're going to be at the gates of Samaria.
The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, "Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of heaven, could this happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," answered Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it!"
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? If we say, we'll go into the city, the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live, if they kill us, then we die." Now this is profound philosophy right here.
I want y'all to know if you're on the other side of the camera and you've never really studied the Bible at all, it actually isn't that complex as you just realized. So here we are, and the Bible says that we're sitting at the gates of Samaria. You might really be wondering why we're sitting here.
Well, if you go back to chapter six, what happened here was Samaria was in famine. Syria had besieged Samaria. There was great famine in the land. In fact, it was really, really not in a good place. You know the famine was so bad in Samaria that they were eating donkey's heads and they were also cooking children and eating children.
It sounds very depraved and you think how could someone ever do that? But you know my husband and I are involved in helping to rescue the victims of human trafficking and much of that happens in places of abject poverty and famine. It is amazing how many people will sell their own children in an effort to maybe keep other children alive.
You know as a mother, you wonder how this can happen. But that kind of famine and that kind of depravity, it causes us very often to do things that we would otherwise never ever do. And that's what famine does.
So you're right here, you're right in this situation in a time of famine. Huge war -- there's no food; where we're at the last of the last. Now the prophet Elisha has turned up and said, "The famine is going to end by this time tomorrow." But these four lepers do not know that the famine is going to end.
So we pick up the story essentially where they're sitting there and the Bible says that they're sitting at the city gate. They're sitting at the gate of Samaria. Now these are four guys with leprosy. If you understand anything about this time in history, these are the least of the least; the most marginalized of the most marginalized of all people groups.
You could be sitting on the other side of this screen and feeling like you are a nobody. You were born into the wrong family. You live in the wrong neighborhood. You don't have the right education. You are marginalized. You might have a disease that has put a stigma on you and they've said that you're never going to amount to anything; you're not going to be any good.
You've got generations of addiction in your family, generations of brokenness, generations of abuse, and you feel like a loser and you feel like the least of the least.
Well, these guys were all that and more. In fact, in this time in history, if you were a leper, you'd have to literally walk down the street and scream out, "Leper coming! Leper coming!"
So that people would cross the street and not walk on the same side of the street as you and you could go to different cultures in our society today and it would be the equivalent of that with people that suffer from different diseases or perhaps live in different neighborhoods and it's almost like I'm not even going to walk down the same side of the street as that person.
And so these guys had no rights, no property, no nothing. But they were sitting there and I love it -- I love it because they were profound philosophers. As they're sitting at the gate of Samaria, they don't know that the famine is going to end in 24 hours and they're having this great discourse and they ask a question.
And really today, I want to talk to us all about the power of a question. If you are going to move past your past, you have to ask some questions because if you don't you are going to sit at the gate for the rest of your life of your past.
But they said, "Why stay here until we die?" I love this! "If we stay here, you know what? Absolutely 100% we're going to die. There is no issue, that's a given. If we go on the other side of this gate into Samaria where there's war and where nobody is surviving, if we go in there, well, best case scenario, there is a .01 percent chance that we might die.
So if we stay here, 100% chance we're going to die. Go there, 99.99% chance we're going to die. Awesome! So here we die, there we die, everywhere we die die. We die!" And so they ask this great question, they say, "Why are we sitting here?"
And I guess my question today to you is why are we sitting at the gate until we die? I don't know what your gate may be: The gate of fear, the gate of insecurity, the gate of shame, the gate of lust, the gate of greed, the gate of apathy, the gate of indifference, the gate of pain, the gate of shame, the gate of abuse, the gate of brokenness, the gate of regret.
There are so many people that spend their whole life sitting at this gate going, "I can't move. This is what happened to me. This is my situation." And we sit the gate somehow waiting for something magical to drop out of heaven until we can somehow maybe get through.
Or really what we do is look at it and we look at this gate as the exit point, as basically the end point of our life. I'm stuck here because you know what? I come from a background of addictions, and in my family, we've got five generations of addiction.
That's just the way it is. I'm stuck at the gate of alcoholism. Or I'm stuck at the gate of drug abuse. Or I'm just stuck at the gate of divorce because that's just what we've always had in our family. Or I'm just stuck at the gate of immorality because that's just the way it's gone in our world. Or I'm just stuck at the gate of this is the job that I have to do, this is the profession that our family does, or I have made so many mistakes, I can't get past what I've done. I cannot get past what was done to me.
I sat at the gate of abuse and victimhood and pain and shame and regret for so many years of my life. I sat there thinking how can I get through?
All these other people have this great future and they have this great destiny but if they only knew what happened to me, there's no way I would -- I would sit in meetings or I would watch people even at school and they would appear to be popular and they would appear to have all these opportunities and I would think, somewhere deep down I knew that there was this sense of more inside of me but I thought, you know what?
I can't change it because I can't change what happened to me. I thought that meant I can't change the future. I thought I'm stuck with where I am because of what has happened and this gate that actually could have provided and has provided the doorway to my future became a prison that kept me bound in my past.