Breaking free from the past

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 2021

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My whole train of thought is often directed by a phone call. Once, it was a conversation with someone who asked me to pray for her to stop being tormented by the mistakes of the past.

Long after our conversation ended, I continued to pray for people who struggle with their past and have difficulty going beyond it. Then I remembered the story in Exodus 14 of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt.

After being slaves for 400 years, God used Moses to lead them out of captivity. Following a series of plagues, Pharaoh let them go, but soon changed his mind and sent the Egyptian army in pursuit. When the Israelites saw the army, they were afraid and Moses said, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

Moses raised his staff, the Red Sea parted, and the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. The Egyptians followed and God made the wheels (cycles) of their chariots fall off, making them unable to move forward to capture the Israelites and return them to their past bondage. When they realized that God was fighting for the Israelites, they tried to retreat, but God caused the Red Sea to sweep over them, destroying the entire army.

That story has recently served as a model for my prayers. The same God who delivered the Israelites is able to deliver us. I pray that we do not let past sins and failures capture and return us to bondage, but that we break those cycles through prayer and walk confidently into our future.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36


Ronny Michel may be reached at