Leaving the Past (Advent 6, 2020)

Advent comes toward the end of the year.  Each of us has a past in this year (and with COVID 2020 has been a doozy!) and most of us have a past that includes prior years.  Sometimes that past is something we’d like to forget.  Sometimes our past is something we need to release to prior days, making a break, and leaving the past behind in order to embrace the future. 

Sometimes it takes Divine Intervention to encourage us to break with the past.

Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram (Genesis 12:1-7 NIV).

Abram was raised in a pagan world.  His father’s household worshiped other gods.  Making a break with the past would be necessary if Abram were to receive the blessing God was preparing to give.

Questions for further thought:

  • Why do we need to release our past in order to have open hands to receive the future? 
  • How would Abram’s worship of other gods interfere with that blessing? 
  • Is there anything in your life that requires divine intervention to help you break with your past? 
  • What blessings might God be preparing for your life if you leave your past behind? 
  • How does Satan use our past to accuse us, entice us, or to try to thwart the will of God?

Dear Lord, we praise You that Your plan for our lives is a good plan.  You are a God of love, a God of blessing, a God of all goodness, of all power, and You are able to bring any blessing to fruition. 

By Divine Intervention, You can help any of us to leave our past behind.  Do not let our past failures or successes be used by our adversary as a tool for accusation or condemnation or pride. Lord, for those of us who are grieving actions we’ve had in the past, comfort us when we cry out to You, free us from pride and insecurity, guard our hearts against greed, anger, jealousy, hatred, envy, and resentment.

This past year, Lord, has been a tough one.  If there are any thoughts we’ve had that damage our witness, any unholy behaviors we’ve done, Lord, please convict our hearts through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  May we quickly repent of these things that stand in the way of the blessing You wish to give us.  Lord, we ask Your hand of grace to form us as powerful witnesses for You in a world that desperately needs to see Your light… the Light of Salvation, the Light of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

We praise You Father for this season of Advent during which our hearts can pause to consider why we needed a Savior.  Help us to know deep truth about the important intervention that Jesus’ birth represented then with ongoing results today.  We thank You, Lord, that because of what Jesus did, we can approach the throne of grace to receive mercy upon our lives, upon our families, upon our nation, and upon the work that You would have us to do to bring glory to Your Name.  Thank You for giving us a role in Your bringing many souls to salvation.  You are so good to us!  Amen.


Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.


Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 4, 2020

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