I love the power of the delete button. With one simple click I can make a whole data set disappear from my screen. I thought I was obliterating the data from my computer as well, but I found out that I was wrong. An IT geek that I know informed me that when I delete a file it is only removed from the directory structure and sent to my computer’s trashcan or recycle area, where it can be easily retrieved.

The deleted file remains in the trashcan until it is written over with a new deleted file. But even then the file is not totally deleted. Recovery specialists can still re-create files that have been deleted and overwritten up to 10 times. Not even reformatting your computer will ensure that everything is totally deleted.

There are data deletion tools that act on your computer files like a paper shredder, pulverizing the file into bits and scattering and rearranging them so that it becomes very difficult to reassemble the original file. However, even these deletion tools cannot always totally delete file information. The only sure way to permanently delete data is to destroy the hard disk.

Our human mind often holds onto data that we would really like to delete. Especially at this holiday season when we are approaching the New Year, it is natural to look forward with anticipation, but too often, also to look back with regrets. Increasingly as I talk with people, I find more of them struggling with regrets that they can’t totally delete.

When they should have hope for their future they’re stuck with remorse for their past. They’re plagued by thoughts like: “If only I’d…,” “What was I thinking?” “I wish I’d never…,” “Why did I do that?” These self-condemning thoughts recycle in their minds, robbing them of peace, hope and joy. It becomes impossible for them to move forward. They can’t give themselves a break because they are stuck with data from their past.

Father God designed the human mind and He understands how our mistakes and remorse make lasting imprints on our thoughts and create negative feelings about ourselves. He has a perfect program to set us free by totally deleting our past regrets. The program is called “forgiveness.”

Father God assures us: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is His love for those who reverence Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:11–12) He completely forgives us and removes our mistakes and regrets from His memory.

But He doesn’t stop there. He totally deletes that self-condemning data from our memory as well. He promises: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) He completely replaces our old heart that is indelibly imprinted with our mistakes, and gives us a brand-new heart free of all remorse and regret. We have a “clean slate,” and can look forward to our future with hope and joyful expectation!

If you find yourself recycling a lot of old data as you approach the New Year, why not let Father God totally delete those old files, give you a new heart and put His Spirit within you? Only He can set you free permanently!

Please join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM for worship and a powerful message as we close out this year with thankful hearts.

Pastor Che

Ché Ahn and his wife, Sue, are the Founding Pastors of HRock Church in Pasadena, California. Ché serves as the Founder and President of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the International Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). With a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, he has played a key role in many strategic outreaches on local, national and international levels. He has written more than a dozen books and travels extensively throughout the world, bringing apostolic insight with an impartation of renewal, healing and evangelism.