Remember Not to Forget
It is likely that if you are reading this article then you have probably experienced a moment in an altar that called you to change. Surrounded by the presence of God, you felt a call to be different and pushed to go beyond your norm. The problem is not the experience, the experience itself carries that liftoff of motivation, the struggle comes with the failing memory that follows.
When the moment is over, you let go of the prompting and reminders and you get back to reality. This is when you find yourself falling prey to the dangerous and yet familiar trap of forgetfulness.
The Bible addresses the human tendency to forget, featured specifically in the history of the people of Israel. Over and over we read of their choices, wondering how they could turn cold so quickly and forget their God who made it all possible. It seems unreal that a people who walked across the Red sea floor on dry ground could so quickly fear dying of thirst. The people who found manna and meat outside their tent every day turned around and longed for the melons, garlic, and slavery. It just doesn’t make sense, yet, they are not that different than you and me.
They had a memory problem. The same memory problem that allowed you to walk away from that altar experience and not make a change.
Psalm 106 is an interesting chapter of verses, while this reads as a quick summary of the Israelites history, the purpose of this Psalm was to celebrate the faithfulness of God and demonstrate the relentlessness of His covenant and the depth of his grace.
“Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea. Even so, he saved them—to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.”
The Israelite people had a tendency to walk away from encounters with God without a real drive to make a long-term alteration. They left self-preservation and personal motivation in the back of their mind, knowing they could return to their old, comfortable ways as soon as it served them well. But this never works, it didn’t for them and it doesn’t for us today. We cannot keep running back to our old ways because it was easier there.
The Lord commanded His people in Deuteronomy 11:18 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.” He was laying out the expectation that there were just some things that were too valuable to forget.
In one of the most basic, tangible ways, He was teaching us to remember not to forget. He said commit yourself with your whole heart. In everything you do you should be reminded of who He is. You should do things so that you and others are reminded of Him.
The beautiful part of Psalm 106 is that, while it reminds us of the danger of forgetting, it also showcases the power that follows when the Lord remembers.
Psalm 106:43 says “Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him and they were finally destroyed by their sin. Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries. He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.”
When God remembers, it is a beautiful thing. So what gets His attention? We find that the Lord’s ear is tuned to the cry of His people, proven all throughout scripture when men and women of God lifted their voice and cried out to their savior. When His people, called by His name, humble themselves and pray and seek His face, change follows! Psalm 106:43 says “again and again he rescued them” and still they walked away. But their cry captured His heart and recalled the covenant He established with them all those years before, bringing relief once more to a people who did not deserve the love they received.
Transitions can be challenging, but if the Lord is calling you to move or grow or step out, you won’t be left to figure it all out on your own. Looking back on the Israelite’s journey I wish I could comfort them and tell them the things we know now.
The Red Sea is not yours to part.
He didn’t walk you into this season to die in the desert.
You will not be overcome by your enemies.
Since we can’t go back in time, we can remind ourselves of this and live by this principle. We must remember not to forget.
I pray that we would remember. Remember our God and who we are in Him.
Olivia Black is a coffee lover and is always looking for a reason to bake a cake. She has a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership from ASU and an Associates in Music from Gateway College. She just recently married her other half, Brandon Black and together they serve at Lakeview Pentecostal Church in Blue Springs, MO.
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