When Remembrance is Hard
Think about the amount of information we encounter in a week's time. Sometimes it's stuff we have to do like classes, team meetings, study sessions, and internships; other times it's stuff we like to do: the Bachelor, Madden, 2K, Instagram, Twitter. Whether it's stuff we have to do or like to do, there's plenty to do. Even if we do have spare time, we spend it thinking about what's next. If we're honest, as a culture, we have little use for slowing down to reflect. And this is the same current that tugs at our spiritual lives: journals we've filled and haven't thought about again, sermons that were like balm for our soul that we've moved past, countless times we've been awed by something God showed us in His word on a Monday... but by that Friday, we've forgotten. Christian circles can often resemble a bunch of people sitting around a fire hydrant trying to quench our thirst. If we've done so many spiritual things, why do we feel so empty? I want you to consider a gift that God has given to help us slow down. It's the gift of one of the most frequent commands of the Bible: The command to stop and remember.
The Gift of Remembrance
What exactly are we being asked to remember? Usually, when you see the command to "remember these things," or "do not forget," God wants to remind us about himself: who He is, what He has done, and it is in this light that we see more clearly who we are. God knows that when we forget who He is: we become prideful, self-centered or we feel forgotten, hopeless, and (most unfortunately) we tend to miss Jesus. To see this command over and over is to see the steadfast love of the Father. He patiently reminds His people to remember to take hold of Christ. Below are a few passages that call us to remember. As you read these passages, listen to God's heart behind the command, to remember our rescue, because when we remember to see God's glory, we experience true joy.
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;
Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
Deuteronomy 8:10-11 "When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today..."
The Practice of Remembrance
Don't neglect to reflect. We live in such an entertainment-saturated world that even when we have time to reflect, we don't. If we paid attention to our daily interactions, we would see that there is more going on beneath the surface than we're comfortable admitting. Lastly, there's no right or perfect way to do this, but I want to share a method that has really enriched my walk with God over the years and I pray it would benefit you too!
- Take one day out of every week to meditate on what you've read in God's Word throughout that week. Don't take in any new information, but allow yourself to remember what God has already revealed.
- As you're looking through your notes through the week, look to see if there were sins the Lord revealed and you kind of just shoved to the side, or parts of His glory that you need to let sink in a little deeper. Take time to pray through these things again.
- This is also a list I journal through that reveal places in my life that need remembrance of who God is and who I am in Him.
- Has anything happened this week that you have shoved down and tried to ignore? Why?
- What are you feeling right now? anxious, angry, overwhelmed, hurt, joyful, thankful? Why?
- What are your words flavored with? From out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We say things because our hearts are filled with it. Are your words (angry, jealous, complaining, pity partying, judgmental, or grateful, blessed, encouraging, joy filled, Christ-centered)
- What lies are you hearing about yourself, God, or others?
- How can remembering God and who He is step into each of these things above?
The Offer of Remembrance
I hope this will serve as a helpful tool to break the mold of the business of life and truly be still. God wants to meet and fill us with the abundance of Himself in such a deep way, but we also know our tendency is to think we are okay because we are doing all these things. I challenge you to lean in and make this a weekly rhythm in your life, to stop and obey the command to remember. I pray this would bring as much intimacy with God, awareness of where you are, depth in relationships, and fruit in your life as it has mine.