When you forget what God has done, you will begin to doubt what He can do. Once you allow doubt to take root in your heart, how you approach everything in life changes because hesitation becomes your constant companion, and you’ll spend more of your life standing at a crossroads than actually walking the walk.
Israel had seen the hand and power of God. They had witnessed
God parting the sea; they had all been guided by the pillar of fire by night and
a cloud by day. It’s not as though they had not experienced God’s might, power,
or ability to do what He said He would. Yet, here they were at the end of a
journey, with the promise so close to hand they could see it with the naked
eye, and when they were told there were hurdles to overcome, it’s as though
collective amnesia took over, and everyone began to grumble.
It’s as though they suddenly forgot what God had done on
their behalf, and now they quaked with fear at the prospect of staring down an
enemy God had already promised them victory over.
The people knew the importance of remembering what the Lord
had done on their behalf. Joshua even instituted stones of remembrance as
visual cues to stir the mind to contemplate past victories and moments where
God did the seemingly impossible, like crossing the Jordan as if on dry land.
That’s the funny thing about the human mind, though. We
forget ten thousand kindnesses but remember one slight for the rest of our
lives. We forget ten thousand answered prayers but will forever mark the day
when we asked for something God did not see fit to grant us and return to it repeatedly
as though it were proof that He doesn’t love us quite as much as He professes.
Sometimes, the proof of God’s love is that He said no. Sometimes,
the evidence of Him treating you as a son or daughter is that He disciplined you
when needed rather than leaving you to the desires of your heart.
As I’ve mentioned in passing before, we grew up poor. It’s
not as though I’m rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m far better off
than my parents were when I was nine, which is the current age of my eldest
daughter. I find myself wanting to give her everything she wants, everything I
never had because my parents couldn’t afford it, then I catch myself and
realize that by doing so, I would be causing irreparable, lifelong harm in that
I wasn’t teaching her one of the fundamental life lessons which is you have to
work for what you want; you have to earn it, and not expect it.
Whoever would be close enough to hear the interaction between
my daughter and me in the store, her asking if she could have something and me
saying no and that she should put it back, would think me to be a plausible
candidate for worst dad of the year. How could you say no to a face like that,
What they weren’t privy to was the conversation we had before
coming to the store, where we established the rules and determined she could
pick one thing she needed rather than five things she wanted.
Remember what the Lord has done so you might trust Him to do
what He promised He would. It is also a mark of wisdom to look back on the
things you asked for that He didn’t grant you and realize that although at the
moment it didn’t seem like the best possible course for your life, in hindsight,
it turns out that it was.
God knows what He’s doing. He knows it better than you think
you do, and for some, that’s a truth that’s hard to stomach. You either trust
Him to mold you into what He desires you to be or resist Him at every turn
because you think you were meant to be something different. He’s the architect,
the potter, the builder, and the planter. He knows His design, He knows what He
wants the final product to look like, He knows what it will take to reinforce
your foundation, and He knows the kind of fruit He wants you to produce.
If we spent more time obeying and less time resisting God, we’d
be much further along in our spiritual maturity than we are.
Forgetfulness is a choice we make that the enemy is more than
happy to amplify and exploit because he knows that the more we fail to remember
the things God has done in our lives, the more likely we will be to doubt that
He will carry out and finish the good work He has started and promised to see
Some people quit so close to the finish line that a step or
two is all it would have taken for them to make it across. Whether it’s because
they failed to remember how far they came or they failed to see the finish line
ribbon, I do not know, but there is a danger in both forgetting what the Lord
has done and failing to keep our eyes on the prize.
But it shouldn’t be this hard! It shouldn’t be this much
work! Who said? Show me one person who isn’t exhausted after running a
marathon. Show me one individual who runs a race to win it and is not spent by the
time they finish. Show me a soldier who goes to battle and returns precisely as
You’ve been lied to about this faith of ours. You’ve been
lied to, and more than we might like to admit, believed the lie, and it shows. It’s
not about puffy clouds and chubby cherubs. It’s not about the adulation of the
godless and the veneration of the simple-minded. It’s not about quick and easy,
have it your way, in and out in five minutes or less. It’s about working out
our salvation with fear and trembling, a lifelong journey of daily picking up
our crosses and following after Him. That’s why Jesus insisted that you count
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.