Devotion: Is your past hindering you from serving God?

Acts 26:10-11 NIV

And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

Can God really use someone like me? That’s a question we all ask ourselves because when we look back at our lives, our past doesn’t look that good. Saul was a man with a passion, passion to persecute and annihilate anyone who identified themselves with Jesus. That was his mission and drive, and the saddest thing is that he thought that he was serving God. He literally dragged people from their homes and had them murdered. We have no idea how many lives were lost in the hands of this man, but even with that, God used him.

We all have a past that is filled with darkness, a past that we would not like anyone to know, a past that we do not want to be associated with. For some of us, we feel that our past is too dark for God to use us. In fact, some of us are convinced that our past is too dark for God to embrace us. No wonder some of us would try to get our act together before we come to God, yet Jesus said, come to me all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Your dark past does not threaten or intimidate God. Your dark past is not an obstacle for God to use you. Jesus came for that very purpose, to deal with the dark past, if only you will let him.

Jesus dealt with Saul’s dark past and chose him as a vessel to take the gospel to the gentiles. Though Saul’s past was filled with darkness, Jesus the light appeared to him and, as always is the case, when light appears, darkness has no choice but to roll away.

This one thing should encourage you, though you may remember your past and so may your family and those who know you, though the enemy may use your past to try to bring condemnation into your life, be encouraged because the God who forgave you of your past does not remember it.


  1. What area of your past don’t you want anyone to know about?
  2. Have you allowed them to be a stumbling block to God using you?
  3. Look at some of your favourite bible characters and take note of their past.


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