“Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV
I can smell it. Today is the first day of fall, and it’s magically the first day with a chill. I want to pull on a cardigan, light my favorite Fall Leaves candle, and put apple crisp in the oven. Smells conjure up the best memories. Today, I remember fall, and I feel it all around me.
Some memories bring joy, others bring pain, but what they all have in common is potential.
The past remembered the right way, helps us move forward better.
We just have to get better at remembering the right things.
The Israelites had hearts that were quick to forget, do you know why? They failed to diligently keep their souls. They were terrible at remembering the deliverance that their eyes had seen and it “departed from their hearts”. Just like us, they looked at where they were headed and panicked because they forgot to gain courage from where they had been. They kept repeating this pattern in their hearts, and their feet followed taking them into the desert for forty years of wandering. I hate wandering, you?
It’s so easy to forget.
It’s so hard to remember.
Coming from a woman who can’t find her sunglasses when they are on her head, please understand I get the struggle; it’s real.
We have to learn to diligently keep our hearts, or we forget God in all the parts of our day. The daily monotony of life where the battles are fought in the trenches is where I need God. Remembering Him in it takes discipline because forgetting is so easy and distraction so available.
Without diligently keeping my soul, it naturally wanders. What does your mind naturally wander to? Guilt? Shame? Fear? Envy? Social media? I want to retrain my mind to wander naturally back to God. I want my day and even my surroundings to trigger memories of Him. Remembering Him as my deliverance is the key to not wandering around like I don’t know who I am.
I asked God what I should remember today, and He led me to Jesus’ words to his disciples during their last supper. In his last hours, do you know what was on his heart? “He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19).
Jesus’ parting instructions for his disciples were that they remember. He knew that in the following hours they were all about to forget everything they knew, everything they had seen, and even who they were. Jesus knew they would struggle with guilt and shame just like us, and He knew we would all need to remember Him in those moments. His body broken for us and his blood spilled for us is meant to bring to memory our deliverance not our sin.
Jesus knew it would be a struggle to remember that’s why he wanted us to do it in the daily things like the breaking of bread. I sin daily, I need the reminder of forgiveness daily.
Jesus wants us to remember that God chooses to forget our sin. He wants us to remember that it’s done.
If we cherish God’s deliverance in our hearts, it keeps us from wandering back into slavery to sin. It puts the right perspective on our pasts, even the past as close as yesterday, and lets us move forward.
If we treasure the right things in our soul, it keeps us out of the desert.
I'll be sending some practical ways to remember God in the daily ebb and flow on Wednesday, don't miss them!