How does God forgive us?
During my summer break in college, between my freshman and sophomore years, I lived at home with my parents in St. Peters, Missouri. Both of my parents were working full-time at that time and I had no car, so I was asked by my mother to stay home and sort of “keep house” for the family while they were at work all day. I was responsible for the general upkeep of the house, laundry, etc. I was also responsible for taking care of our miniature schnauzer “Laddie.”
One day, as I was playing fetch with him, I was just chit-chatting with God and said, “Lord, I know you are in any situation I find myself. You are here with me as I clean and take care of our house and you can teach me things even as I play with my dog. What do you want me to learn right now?”
He immediately answered me with Psalm 103:12 which states:
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
He then said, “After you confess your sins to me, I throw them away from you as far as the east is from the west. DON’T GO FETCH.”
Remembering Our Past Sins
The devil tries to bring up our past to us sometimes. He will remind us of that one time we really messed up or hurt a lot of people. Or he will whisper to us that our past failures disqualify us from doing anything worthwhile now. He is trying to get us to play fetch with what God has thrown away from us as far as the east is from the west. We may believe we don’t deserve that kind of forgiveness on our own, but because Jesus made us worthy—we get it!
The devil loves to bring our sins back to us and try to get us to meditate on and contemplate those things that God has completely removed from us and thrown into the sea (Micah 7:19). But because of the forgiveness of God, we never have to be tied to those sins again. That’s what Paul is explaining in Romans 8:1-2:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Don’t Go Fetch
As far as God is concerned, that sin that you clearly remember committing, He purposefully separates from you completely and throws it far away from you! When you are tempted to bring it back up to God, or meditate on it and feel guilty about it all over again, purposefully decide to drop it and DON’T GO FETCH!