The life that I have known for over two decades has been completely blown up – some of it by choice, some not. It is interesting that God did not change or remove a few pieces of my life, but all of it. Every piece has been gutted. So that leads me to ask, “Why does God wipe a slate clean?”
Whenever I have a question on my mind for God, I look to the Scriptures to find answers in both the New Testament and the Old Testament. He is a God who does not change (Hebrews 13:8), so the examples we see in the Scriptures apply today, just as when they were written.
The first example I thought of in the Bible was Jesus. He wiped our slates clean with forgiveness when He died on the cross. Why did he wash us clean of our sins? We are commanded in both the Old and New Testaments:
“‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
from Matthew 22:37-39 NLT
In this context, our slates are wiped clean to focus solely on God and loving others.
A different example, found in the Old Testament, is when God commanded Abraham:
“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.”
from Genesis 12:1 NLT
The objective of God wiping Abraham’s slate clean was to bless him and all families of the Earth to come from him:
“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12:2-3 NLT
Sometimes God wipes our slates clean to prepare us for blessing. The trouble with God removing pieces of our lives is that as soon as a relationship concludes or a job ends or an illness arrives, we want the answer or the next step right away. He may not provide that insight immediately, though. He may want us to rest in Him or learn to trust Him more or refine the skill of remaining joyful during trials:
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Psalm 46:10 NLT
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
Proverb 3:5 NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
James 1:2 NLT
The goal of every Christian is found in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (NLT).
This means seeking Jesus, who is the Word of God, the Path to God, and the Giver of the Holy Spirit. Seeking first the Kingdom of God enables all else to fall into place. We are to seek Him and live righteously, and He will give us everything we need (not everything we want).
This is what we do while waiting for God to reveal our next steps. We focus on seeking Him and drawing closer to Him by spending more daily time with Him, more daily worship of Him, and more time listening to Him. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT). Drawing close to God also means we will hear the Holy Spirit clearer, which is what we ultimately want and need.
In order to obtain our next steps after God has wiped our slates clean, we must be still and listen as we draw closer to God. He has a plan for renewing or changing our lives.
We simply must listen.
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