Did you ever think about God having an eternal eraser with your name on it? It’s true! Just a cursory glance through the Scriptures shows us God using His eraser time and time again in the lives of some pretty messed up saints . . . saints like you and me. God erased the deceptions of Jacob. God erased the doubts of Thomas. God erased the denials of Peter. God is in the business of erasing a past littered with broken promises and shattered dreams and unfulfilled potential, and He is in the habit of doing it over and over again.
Moses knew this quite well. He lived a privileged life in Egypt; at age forty he sought to bring about a “good thing” (the deliverance of God’s people), but in the “wrong way” (in his own strength through murder). You see, Moses believed his powerful, privileged position in the court of Pharaoh would propel him to the position of deliverer of his people. He was wrong, tragically wrong, and this would have been the end of the story, if not for God’s eternal eraser.
After his failed attempt to free his people, Moses fled Egypt and headed off into obscurity, tending sheep on the back side of the Midian wilderness. For the next forty years, Moses undoubtedly many times about what could have been, believing he had completely blown the one chance he had to serve his God and bless God’s people.
Satan delights in convincing the saints that they have blown their “one chance” of serving God and blessing God’s people. The devil wants Christians defeated, believing they have missed their opportunity of being used by God. Our adversary loves to discourage disciples by convincing them they are disqualified for service in God’s kingdom. He convinces some that they are too bad; others that they are too poor; still others that they are too old. Satan keeps running into one problem, though: God always gets the last word!
After Moses messed up, God sent him on his wilderness experience for forty years. All this time, God was preparing Moses for fruitful service: to go back into Egypt to deliver God’s people (a good thing), but this time to do it in God’s strength and according to God’s plan (the right way). God did not discard Moses and dump him on to the ashes of apparent defeat. Instead, He drove Moses into the desert for a season of preparation and training for future service. You know the rest of the story.
Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated . . . And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:7, 10-12)
So, what about you? What will be the rest of your story? Are there any places in your life right now where you have lost all hope? At the office? In your marriage? With your children? In your ministry of service? We all must remember that our past never determines our future. Jacob’s life of deception did not determine his future. Thomas’s doubts did not determine his future. Peter’s denials of Jesus did not determine his future. God determines our future, and He begins by first erasing our past.
When we cry out to God for forgiveness, He not only forgives us, He forgets what He is forgiving. “For I will forgive their iniquity,” He declares, “and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). We must do the same if we are going to get on with the perfect plan God has for imperfect people in advancing the cause of His kingdom. Your hope, your motivation, your drive to continue pressing into the call God has placed in your life will only be as big as the One you are trusting in. Moses learned not to trust in himself. Have we learned this too?
Remember what the psalmist said: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). God is not finished with you, and He won’t be until He brings you into glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!