I Am Reminded
Has anyone ever treated you with the attitude of “What have you done for me lately”? How about you? Have you been or are you now guilty of treating others that way? It really is an attitude of seeing people as a utility for our benefit rather than as a person. The sad reality is that we often treat God that way, as well. We quickly forget all that He has done for us and need to be reminded—we need to remind ourselves!
God understands our very human propensity to forget, and that is why there are scores of commands and admonitions in the Scriptures urging us to remember, not to forget, and to call to mind who God is and what He has done. That first one—remembering who God is—is vital! We humans tend to make gods into our own image; those we can control and who give us what we want. But God says, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” (Is. 46:9), and “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other” (Dt. 4:39). We need to constantly remind ourselves of the Scripture-revealed character and nature of our Almighty, sovereign, holy, gracious, loving, Faithful and True God. It will change our perspective on life entirely.
To combat that “what have you done for me lately” syndrome, we would do well to rehearse to ourselves what God has done—and not just lately. God never seems to have gotten over creating us. All throughout the Scriptures He declares that He is our Maker. If we treat that as ancient history, He does not. He is our Maker and that gives Him rights of ownership which He does not want us to forget. Notice, too, how He never let Israel get over her redemption. They celebrate Passover to this day—thousands of years after it happened. Their spiritual lives, and the very life of their community, revolved around commemoration of His past and ongoing redemptive work for them. Similarly, Jesus tells us to commemorate His redemptive work for us through the Lord’s Supper, until He returns. Even then, Heaven never gets over the cross, as the Lamb Who Was Slain takes center stage there. Have we gotten over the cross? Was our salvation a point in the past, and now we just get on with living? Or are we regularly reminding ourselves of our great salvation, full of gratitude and praise?
Of course, God’s deeds extend to our daily lives, as well. God reminds His people that He is the One who gives them the strength to earn and living and be fruitful (Dt. 8:10-18). The psalmist tells us to “forget not His benefits” (Ps. 103:1-2), and goes on to list some of the ways He blesses us. Do we forget His benefits? Do we live lives that are quicker to gratitude or to grievance? There is an old saying, “What if we have tomorrow only what we were grateful for today? What would we have?” It’s a great question to regularly ask ourselves, because we take so much for granted. We would do well to remind ourselves daily of all He has done for us, keeping in mind even what He has spared us from, not only what He has placed in our hands.
This is why it is also good to remind ourselves of our history with the Lord. We see that happening a lot in the Old Testament Scriptures. Often even the recorded prayers are full of God’s history with His people, His provisions and rescues, His longsuffering during their rebellion, and His mercy in forgiving them. Who among us have not experienced His repeated patience and grace, provision and rescue? Hebrews tells us to remember what we’ve been through with God, even our sufferings (10:32-36). It’s so important to recall how He has brought us through (see also, Ps. 119:55; Jonah 2:7), and even share it with the next generation, so they can see their heritage with the Lord.
Jesus also tells us that is it important to remember so we do not fall utterly: “Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Rev. 2:5) and “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you” (Rev. 3:3). These are stern warnings, but they highlight the importance of intentional remembering; reminding ourselves what exactly were those “first deeds” of our love for the Lord, and what those true heights He gave us at our salvation.
Fortunately, we aren’t left on our own in this quest to remind ourselves. We have been given the powerful dynamic of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Jesus said that the Spirit would be given to us as our Helper (Jn. 14:26), to enable us to call to mind all He had told us, and what He told us can be summed up by His Word. Both are incredible gifts for which to be grateful, for we are entirely dependent upon them. The Spirit, however, cannot “remind” us of what isn’t in our mind in the first place. It is essential that we be students of the Word, so it is in our minds for the Spirit to use. It is exceptionally empowering.
We aren’t meant to go through life thoughtlessly reacting to whatever comes our way, but thoughtfully, reflectively, proactively to take on life with a Godward purpose, looking constantly to Him. It isn’t a chore; it becomes a delight. As this song, I Am Reminded, brings home, remembering what He has done is a glorious delight, drawing our hearts to Him in love and worship. We can never praise and thank Him enough, but we certainly would do well to do it more!