Monday, July 28, 2014

Lest We Forget

Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you have, your need is always just a little bit more. I often say, if I had a million dollars my bills would come to a million and one. I think there is a very specific reason for this. It is called, dependence.

We are a very capable people. We are intelligent, crafty, and sometimes even wise. We can think our way out of almost any situation. If we can't do it with our hands we come up with an appropriate tool. We walked on the moon, sent probes to Mars and have flung research ships out beyond the edge of our solar system. We have built high and dug low. We have learned how to manipulate our environment to meet our comfort level. We have learned to cure diseases, grow babies in a test tube and to kill others in their mothers' wombs without killing the mom. Is there any limit to our highs and lows, our good and evil? But we are also very forgetful.

Jesus met ten blind men and healed them all, but only one returned to thank him. Yahweh gave Israel their own land and blessed them in it, but within a generation they forgot. We have a very short term memory when it comes to the goodness of Father. Today we could be facing something terrible, ask for help, receive it and the very next day doubt his goodness when we face the next problem. Relationship is about building a mutual history of proven love and trust but it seems that our history with Jesus restarts every day, as if he has done nothing for us in the past.

It is for this reason that Moses warned Israel:

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,  lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;  and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;  when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’" (Deuteronomy 8:11-17)

Moses was telling them to keep the commandments now, making it an essential part of their living so that when times are good they would not forget why they are good. We may consider the same thing with spiritual disciplines. Our Bible, prayer, worship, stewardship and such are not just for the bad times. These are tools that keep us intimate with our Saviour. Without them we forget Jesus in the good times. Could you imagine a friend who showed up at your door only when he was in need?

Too often we neglect to remember the overwhelming part Jesus plays in our victories and success. We are not self-made people. We are sheep. We have a shepherd. We are dependent on him. We do not wander off and do our own thing. We follow his direction and do what he tells us to do. In good times he leads us to great pasture; in bad times he protects us with his staff. He is not a wish granting genie but our constant companion who does more for us in a day than we could possibly realize.Our dependence is always on him and all praise is due him. So take time each and every day to pray, study your Bible, meditate on the Word, worship, be good stewards and serve, lest you forget.

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