Remember the height from which you have fallen! (Rev. 2:5a NIV)
If you have not read Remembering: A Gift of the Spirit Part 1, please do so before reading this.
So, I choose to remember, now what?
First, remembering is more than simply recalling. Remembering, in a biblical sense, is more like revisiting Truth. It is one thing to remember my time spent in Tasmania. It is quite another to revisit Tasmania. In a “capturing my thoughts”(2 Corith. 10:5) kind of way, it is embracing the truth of who God is, what He says and what He has done for me personally. It is recognizing and embracing a truth that He is the unchanging One and really and truly is greater than my current circumstances.
His truth-words are more than accurate historical facts. His truth-words are so connected to who He is, that in a very real sense they carry His presence. They are breathed from His soul into ours. They originate in His heart and are poured into ours. That is why there is power is His words. That is why His truth-words set us free (John 8:32). That is why our minds are renewed, shaking from us the influence of the world system (Romans 12:2). His truth-words are always motivated by His love and have as their goal to impart life. So, remembering/revisiting the Lord’s truth-words, whether they are written on the pages of our bibles or written into our heart-histories by experience, opens our awareness to the reality of God’s presence and power in our current circumstances. Faith is stirred. That’s a good thing!
Nearly every, if not every encounter with the truth evokes within us a response. And I think it would be safe to say that nearly always, if not always there are two destinations that His truth will ultimately cause us to arrive. The first is repentance. When tough times come and our pain is sharp and speaking loudly we often pull back, shrink inwardly and withdraw into ourselves. We are very vulnerable in those moments to listen to the one who lives to accuse. His words are sly, often carrying half-truths which creates a more deadly lie. His goal, as it has always been, is to divide and conquer. He often begins with a similar approach as he did Jesus in the wilderness; “if you are a son/daughter of God, how could this happen, (or) how could you have done this”. Or the lie goes “this does not happen to others, where is God, is He really there? Is He really good? Does He really care? (or) where is your faith…you must deserve this because God could have prevented this”. And on the lies go, with the intent of divisiveness, deception and destruction. To repent ultimately means to turn. To turn from deception to truth. To turn from the death-speaker to the Life Giver. To turn from hopelessness to hope. NO MATTER WHAT OUR EMOTIONS MIGHT BE TELLING US. That is why it is called faith.
The second most common response that comes with remembering is our need to forgive. Ourselves or someone else. Or both. I’ve talked about this powerful gift that is actually a commandment many times. But forgiving is the oxygen that keeps us alive, that keeps our hearts from hardening or atrophying and is the only remedy to destroy the effects of the poison of bitterness.
My prayer for me and my prayer for you is as this New Year begins, is that the presence of our amazing Lord not only protects our hearts from the tough times of life; but that He somehow in the wonderful, the difficult and even the mundane moments of our lives reveals Himself to us. Because I am convinced that as we lean on our beloved He indeed will complete what He has begun. We will indeed be brides that reflect the heart of our Bridegroom.