Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs. Joe DiMaggio got a hit in 56 straight games. I have a great memory… about things that don’t matter! I can easily recall numbers, sports statistics, dates, and random facts, but for some reason when it comes to situations and stories I have a hard time remembering details. That’s why I write a lot of things down. I’ve learned life is hard, but when you forget things life gets even harder! This is also true spiritually. Forgetting leads to failure. Here are four reason we must work hard to remember who God is and what He has done.
First, remembering keeps us from forgetting. Sometimes we forget just how good God is. We forget His provision, protection, and power. Israel was commanded to remember what God had brought them out of: the despair of slavery in Egypt (Deuteronomy 6:20-23). Like them, we gripe and long for the “good ole days.” Complaining is easy. Remembering accurately takes work. Don’t forget where you came from and God who brought you where you are. We also forget just how needy we really are. That’s why symbolism is important. The Lord’s Supper is about remembering our sin and sorrow, but also the mercy and grace Jesus extended on the cross when he extended his arms to us in love. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19-20). God is good. Remember and you won’t forget.
Second, remembering moves us forward. Sometimes we get stuck in the prison of the present. We feel trapped, judged, hungry, forgotten, angry or hopeless. Psalm 77:11 urges to remember God’s deeds and wonders “of old.” Those who remain “stuck in the past” are remembering the wrong things, or the right things in the wrong way. Incredibly, the Bible is filled with references of God remembering His covenant promises to those who are His. God doesn’t forget His people or His promises. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past re-centers our heart and propels us from the present into a future of hope. God is faithful. Remember and you can move on.
Third, remembering gives us perspective. Sometimes we act like life is perfect and we are the cause, or the opposite, as if our lives are ruined and over. Point of view is all about position. Depending on where someone is standing, their perspective may be an incomplete, or totally inaccurate perception of reality. We see pictures of people grasping the Eiffel Tower in between their fingers, holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or eating a cloud. What you see is real but not the complete picture. Right now we only “see in part” (1 Corinthians 13:12). You can trust in the Lord forever because He is “an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). He “declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). God sees and knows all. Remember and re-center your focus.
Fourth, remembering protects us. Sometimes we make the same mistakes and therefore feel the same pain over and over! The hot stove hurts so we stop touching it. Remembering keeps us alive not only physically, but spiritually. When the Israelites left Egypt they did not remember the miracles God did for them. They forgot His power and provision, His help and holiness. Because they did not remember, they rebelled (Psalm 106:7). God knows and wants what is best for you. Remember and live free.
How about taking a few moments to practice remembering and write down all God has done? You might remember more than you think!