Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them . . . . You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today . . . . When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. Deut 4:9; 8:17–18; Hosea 13:6
The admonition and the warning of Moses, the recognition of the human condition and the charge not to forget to remember. And yet they did, they forgot even thought they had been instructed not to. A God looked at their forgetful state and grieved. in forgetting God they forget their goodness, their sustenance, their protection, purpose and hope. Oh, eventually things get so bad that they remember him again and cry out — and God welcomes them back in grace and love until they forget and their lives, witness and mission run off the tracks and crash.
This was not just the story of Israel, it was not just the story of the Bible people, it is the story of me and you — it is the human condition — and it is both tragic and preventable. Sometimes we don’t remember because our memory fades. But I think a lot of the time we don’t remember because we forget to. Remembering takes intentionality. We need to take time to remember, to record the moments to return to them and to be fueled how we have seen God. Remembering how God has been at work in our past gives us courage to move forward into the future he has for us.
What are you doing to make sure you don’t forget to remember?
Consider a daily or weekly time where you sit down and you move through your day(s) and record in a journal the ways that you were aware of God’s presence with you. Make note of the ways that you recognized and entered into that space with God and the ways that you did not. Give those times back to God and thank him.
Consider an awareness journal, something you keep with you and that you record throughout the day the things you see of God, his word, his provision, his nature, his grace. Write them down and review them periodically.
Consider getting together with one or two others weekly for coffee. Take turn sharing the ways you have encountered God that week. Give him thanks for his presence.
The reality is quite easy to make sure we don’t forget to remember. It takes intentionality but very little more than that. What might be preventing you? If we are not willing to obey God in his command to remember, what else are we unwilling to obey him in, and at what cost to us and to the Kingdom.
Peace, hope and love