Behold, I make all things…. NEW! Catch the power of that. A fresh start. A brand new life. All of the past mistakes, regrets, issues, sorrows, burdens wiped away –
Because of what Christ did at Calvary, our slates were permanently erased for once and for all eternity. His mercies are new every day and each morning we receive a fresh, new Clean Slate.
Who in their right minds would turn down an offer like that?
Yet, we do it every day. Christ offers us a Clean Slate if we believe in Him. If we trust the process. The problem isn’t Christ. He is the One Who said it [our sin] is finished (John 19:30). He is the One who said He blots out our sins for His name’s sake and remembers them no more (Isaiah 43:25). He is the One who said He will have compassion on us and cast our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). As Matthew Henry so wonderfully states, “When God forgives sin, He takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner. He casts their sins into the sea; not near the shore-side, where they may appear again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again. All their sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, He forgives all.”
The problem is within us. It’s because we are not quite finished with the past. It is because we still remember it all. It is because it is so ingrained, so deep-rooted and such a struggle that we cannot fathom how God could still be so good but we are still struggling with the consequences and the lingering side effects. We can’t fathom forgetting and forgiving of our sin because we still sin again.
It’s because we cannot it let go. It is because we fail to receive and extend to ourselves the forgiveness God gave. As Shannon Tanner so aptly put in her book Worthy: The Power of Wholeness, “Regret is an extremely damaging emotion; it gives us nothing to rebuild our lives from…regret seeks to create more self-suffering by replaying the wreck…regret chains us to the past in a destructive and self-defeating way…”
Because of this, we retain the clutter, the chaos and residue of the past and our sin perpetually within our mind and emotions. Spiritually we are in right standing. Emotionally and mentally we still struggle. We mentally understand what Christ did, but in our daily lives, we have a very difficult time grasping the reality of it in our day to day existence. Thus, we deny ourselves the blessings of daily walking with a Clean Slate in Christ.
The crux of the Gospel message is this: 1) That God through Jesus Christ has reconciled humankind back to Himself and; 2) Once reconciled back to God, we can now begin the process of reconciling back to our true authentic selves without the stains and the chains of past sin.
The process involved in Number 2 above, is also known as sanctification or deliverance. Because we want instant breakthrough, we fail to realize that deliverance and sanctification is a process. It is a process of reconciling back to our true selves as we spend time with God being slowly transformed. Deliverance is not always a quick work. There are degrees of deliverance. It takes time to renew our minds and hearts long enough for our behavior to change.
Not only do we war within ourselves as we walk out the reconciliation process, but we also have adversary, also known as satan, who makes it his business to trip us up, accuse us and continually bombard our minds with the past and distractions with the sole purpose of keeping us from moving forward in our Clean Slate. By keeping us distracted, fatigued and disconnected, we never have time to spend with God and deal with our emotions. We get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent and never really learn how to accept ourselves as lovable by God even when we mess up.
“Lack of (self) forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior.”
– Mark Victor Hanson
For me, when I feel like we have disappointed God, missed the mark, made yet another mistake, did the same thing again, compromised, failed to fully show up the way I know I can, the inevitable occurs:
“What was I thinking? Why did I do/say that? You did it AGAIN!” The whole litany of self-berating begins. How does beating yourself up help you to improve? Where did we get that by being harsh and hard on ourselves that it will motivate us to do better? How well has that worked for us?
Further Tanner states “We often feel that being hard on ourselves is the only way to inspire change…being hard on ourselves does not inspire deeper insights, change or lasting peace; it only creates deeper rungs of self-doubt…there can be no lasting change, unless anchored in patience and self-acceptance… people who are harsh and cruel to others lack self-compassion. They treat others with the same harsh judgment and cruelty that they subject their own hearts to…”
Selah. Pause and calmly think of that. What harsh judgments and words are you subjecting your heart to daily and how is it helping you?
The key to self-acceptance and forgiveness is to know first that you are already accepted in the beloved according to Ephesians 1:8. You have already been made right with God in Jesus Christ. He died to make us right not to prove us wrong and keep us there beating ourselves up about it.
Our enemy knows the power of the Clean Slate. He knows that once we grab hold of the promises of Christ and it starts to sink deep within the water tables of our souls — the realm of our thought and feeling nature, that we will never be the same.
He knows that once we fully and completely embrace the powerful truth that we are indeed free, that we are indeed made whole and accepted, that we are indeed forgiven that nothing can be impossible to us. We will overcome the temptations and the struggles that we used to stumble over. We begin to walk in progressive degrees of deliverance. We become transformed day by day as we spend time with Him reconciling our relationship with ourselves.
“If the relationship between, me myself and I ain’t right… then no other relationship will work…”
– Shannon Tanner.
In other words, I can’t have a healthy relationship with anyone else if the relationship I have with myself is riddled with self-inflicted pain and suffering. We read in the word that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Somehow we have it twisted to think that self-love is arrogant and selfish. A healthy self-love and compassion is actually very wise, especially if you expect to have a fulfilling life.
When we stop engaging the Unholy Trinity — self-doubt, self-criticism and self-isolation and begin to fully and completely embrace that we are imperfect, but beloved and in right standing with God, then and only then can we fully walk in the power of the Clean Slate.
Then and only then can we walk authentically into our God-given purpose. Without embracing the power of the Clean Slate we will forever stay on the hamster wheel of sin fixation and struggles, proving and performing. Every. Single. Time.
You have a Clean Slate in Christ. It is yours for the taking.
Be free today and walk in it!
Until Next Time,
Stay connected to my #GetRealBeHealed Movement by clicking here! For a FREE audio on 3 Signs of a Toxic Relationship go to www.tonikabreeden.com and download today. If you are struggling in a dead-end relationship, check out my book Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW available on www.amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.