“You can’t take it back.” Those were the words of a high-tech wizard who was talking on TV about texting and e-mailing and all the other electronic ways we communicate today. He was underscoring the fact that if you send a text message or an e-mail or an Instagram and then decide you want to delete it, someone can undelete it. Once you put it out there, it’s out there and a person or an organization with a little knowledge will able to find it and retrieve it.
He was referring specifically to the latest Washington, D.C., scandal that’s swirling around supposedly missing and now retrieved e-mails and texts between two folks who were working for the FBI, but the high-tech wizard could have been making the same observations about Hillary’s missing e-mails on the private server in her home or a case involving some criminal who got caught because of the use of an electronic device or devices.
In the case of the FBI personnel, news reports indicate there were over 50,000 missing texts that were lost, gone. Suddenly, those messages began to reappear when experts started looking for them. When those messages were found and retrieved, it became obvious as to the reason someone wanted them to disappear. As I listened to the high-tech wizard talk about the world in which we live and all the things related to the exchange of information and the unbelievable things that people send back and forth and say and do, I was again riveted by his words: “You can’t take it back.”
It’s out there somewhere, forever. God has told us all along that is a true statement. The realization is that what we say and do is open to God. In Hebrews 4:13, a cautionary word is written and folks back in the day may have wondered how such could be: “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
It doesn’t matter if you try to hide like Adam and Eve or cover up your sin like King David attempted to do. All things are clearly seen by the eyes of God. We sometimes think there are secret sins no one knows. Wrong. God always sees our sins.
The Old Testament writer was right when he gave the word from God, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). As a youngster, I used to hear that verse and think it meant my mother or dad was going to find out my sins. No, it means your sins will find you out. The guilt, the burden, the uncertainty, the fear of our own personal sinfulness will haunt us regardless of who we are. Sin will track you down and find you. God knows all that you’re going through and all that you do.
With that realization in mind, I want to ask you to think for a moment about the removal. “The removal of what?” you may ask. I’m talking about the removal of your sin. God sees it and is the only One who can remove it and cleanse us through Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He literally took all our sins upon Himself. He took everything you’ve ever done that was wrong. Everything you’ve ever said that was wrong. Everything you’ve ever thought that was wrong. All were placed on Him, and He died for your sins. When you trusted Jesus as your Lord, Savior, and Master, all your sins were paid for. You are cleansed. You’re free and forever saved and ready to be with God — not because of anything you did or could ever do to make that happen, but because of Jesus. You can’t work off sin but you can come to faith in Jesus and your sins will be wiped away. The Bible says God takes your sins and buries them in the depths of the sea. He casts them as far as east is from west. There is no way they can ever be brought against you again.
That leads me to say just a word about the rejoicing. The rejoicing comes because the opinion of the high-tech wizard on TV is both right and wrong. He’s right that if you put everything out there in the electronic world, it’s indeed out there and you can’t take it back — but there is a way to permanently erase your sins. God can lift your burdens, remove your sins, and fill your life with joy unspeakable and full of glory. They won’t be “out there” forever after you make your decision to follow Jesus.
That is available to you today, my friend. If you’ve never done so, trust Jesus today. If you know Him as your Savior but have wandered away from your relationship with Him and gotten bogged down in the mire of life’s burdens and guilt, come back to Him. He will refresh and renew you, remove your sins, and cleanse you today by His wonderful grace and power.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.