Let me just confess – I LOVE office supplies! Anybody else?
I can waste money too easily in an office supply or book store, so I avoid going unless I really need something – or have a gift card.
A couple of years back a bibliophile friend of mine who also loves to write, clued me in on a new erasable pen that came in many colors. I was hooked just hearing about them. I went home and ordered a package of the pens based solely upon what I had heard of them. When Amazon Prime delivered, I was not disappointed. They were amazing! I began using them for everything: calendaring, taking notes, journaling, writing letters. You name it. Until…
I had taken notes, with said pens, at a planning meeting for an upcoming event, then headed to Target for some things I needed. I left the notebook on the dash of my car in the Alabama summer sun. After finishing my errands I got home and took out my notebook to follow up on some of the plans. Lo and behold, my notes had disappeared on half the pages! Then I begin to connect the dots, the ink in these pens erased by rubbing with the eraser… rubbing caused heat… the sun in my car was hot… Ugh!
I still love the pens. They’re good for calendars and whimsical artwork which sometimes need to be erased. They are not good for my journals or business notes where I want a permanent record of what I write. This got me thinking.
Some things in life need to be written in permanent ink.
Other things need erasable pens.
“Jesus loves me this I know” needs to be written in bold permanent marker across your psyche. So does “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and “I know the plans I have for you” and “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Permanent reminders about our identity, of how to live, and of how to treat others need to be seared into our brains. Permanently. Lessons learned and wisdom gained through God’s Word applied to life need to be recorded in indelible ink. Every scripture verse and word of Godly wisdom needs to be chiseled in as if in stone.
Sometimes these truths of scripture and lessons learned in our walk with the Lord get erased. Our enemy comes along and steals certain truths from our minds, or blinds us to the spiritual reality temporarily just to thwart God’s work in and through us. We must be diligent about hiding His Word in our hearts systematically, and of following up by reviewing this words! (My weak point is follow up.) We must also realize that we have an enemy who wants to blind us to the truth we know. We must frequently pray that the Lord will not let our mind forget any of the wisdom He has taught us. And each of us need a group of godly “go to” friends who will speak the scripture into our lives when we seem at a loss to retrieve it ourselves.
Other things, those that should be written in erasable ink in our hearts, are our mistakes, our failures, hurtful criticisms of others, wounds from friends, confessed sins, and condemning things from our past. Those things need to be “left on the dash” so to speak, to be erased by the warmth of the Son of God and His love for us. They may not be erased immediately, but under His care they will slowly fade if left in the “Son.” With time we will be able to remember the lessons of the past without the heaps of guilt and regret. I don’t speak of this theoretically, I speak from living and learning this lesson.
In my early 20s, there was what I considered to be a huge sin and failure in my life. (All sin is huge to the Father, you know.) God stopped me in my tracks, rebuked me, corrected me, and set me back on His path when I humbled myself, confessed my sin, and asked for forgiveness. (The 2 Timothy 3:16 principles at work!) For about 10 years after that I struggled with guilt over my failure. It crippled me in many ways. To be broken-hearted over my sin was an appropriate response, but Satan had taken my memory of my failure and broken my spirit and made me define myself by my sin. As God taught me to give my failures to Him and leave my sins in the hands of my Savior, I began to experience God’s grace for me which allowed me to forgive myself and move forward. I began confronting Satan’s condemnation of me with the truth of God’s love and forgiveness of all my sin, using scripture to put my enemy in his place. Just last night my husband said something that triggered the memory of my failure. There was no more guilt and shame attached to the memory, and I was shocked to recall it. I had forgotten it! It has probably been 10 years since I thought about it at all. What had been a consuming regret, had been erased by the grace of God and the constant application of His Word to my situation.
Take some time to think about erasable things that you may be hanging on to, that thing that your enemy keeps bringing to your mind. It may be like mine, a sin that haunts us and controls us even though we have repented and asked for forgiveness. Maybe it’s a comment about our appearance or a judgment from when we were a child, or perhaps that humiliating memory that we won’t let our self forget. It could even be an offense against us that we choose to hang onto that is eating away at us. These things need to be erased. We need to let Scripture and the Holy Spirit work on our hearts and minds so that we can walk in freedom, fulfilling God’s purposes in our lives.
You may say “But these have been written in permanent ink. I’ll never be free of them.” Not to worry. God is omnipotent; He can change permanent ink to erasable ink if we offer it to Him, just like He changed the water into wine in Scripture. So I challenge you, make a decision that you are willing to let these things be erased. Then pray and ask God to begin that erasing process to free you from these negative labels, harmful memories, and controlling thoughts of fear and failure. Begin writing on your mind and heart every day the truths of His Holy Word. You will one day wake up and be so free you will have to be reminded of the past.