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Prostitute.  Harlot.

Heathen.

This is who Rahab was at moment we enter her story in the Old Testament. As Israel approached the Promised Land, only Jericho stood in the way. The entire Canaanite city knew that these Israelites and their terrifying God has defeated the mighty Egyptians and they had their eyes on their city. When Joshua sent spies into the city, Rahab agreed to shelter and hide them at her inn because she recognized that their God was the one true God and risked everything she had and loved for His people.

Have you ever heard an awful voice in your head tell you…

“The choices you’ve made will always define who you are.”

“Who you were is who you will always be.”

“I can’t change.”

As Christians, we know that God’s grace is powerful and transformative. But the truth is, we don’t always understand how that truth can overcome all the awfulness and sin in our lives. Or maybe we believe that God’s grace is for other people, but for some reason it won’t be extended for us. We’re not worthy of it. We struggle to trust that this truth is meant for us. We struggle to reconcile that perhaps God’s grace is more powerful than our pasts.

When I’ve gotten stuck in this loop of fear and doubt, I have secretly wished that God would jump into a DeLorean with me and make it all disappear.

Liar.

Loser.

Victim.

I got so stuck on the pain and shame of my past that I didn’t see what He had been shaping in me all those years.

Fighter.

This was the part I forgot (and honestly sometimes still forget) about grace. It covers our transgressions, the nakedness and terror of sin. Grace doesn’t erase the story of our lives. Jesus’ blood is poured out to wrap us in mercy and love. He takes the weight of our sin on His shoulders so we can be living testimonies for Him. We can’t do that with just part of the story.

Rahab was more than a list of sins. She was smart and brave, and she loved her family. God chose a blatant sinner and outsider to be a crucial part of His plan in fulfilling His promise. He transformed her, through grace, into one of His chosen people. She would become part of the line through which David and Jesus would come. She would be honored long after her time on this side of eternity. She was made more than her past could have ever shaped for her.

God’s grace is absolutely more powerful than anyone’s past.

 

Liz is Summit's Community Engagement Coordinator. She's also a guest blogger and SUMMIT MAGAZINE contributor.