Results of Active Remembering
When we “Don’t Forget to Remember” and live with “Purposeful Remembering,” we keep God’s activity and character throughout history and in our own lives fresh in a way that fuels our faith. This active remembering results in going well beyond recalling and to letting our remembering affect our lives in visible ways. Others will see the impact remembering God has on our lives. With that, our active remembering actually becomes a testimony.
“Remember not the former things…” (Isaiah 43:18)
How do we know we aren’t just recalling but are actually letting our remembering affect our lives in an active way? Maybe a better question is, “What are the results of this active remembering?”
Don’t dwell on the past.
As I tell my boys when they make a mistake, “Learn from it and move on.” Too many people live in the past. They live with unforgiveness and bitterness. They tell the same stories over and over again, and a backward focus keeps them from moving forward.
While we want to remember God’s activity throughout our lives, we don’t want to dwell on our depravity — on ourselves — in any way. Instead, we want to focus on what God has done, and this then increases our faith about what he is doing and will yet do in our lives.
“…do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18)
Serve him faithfully in the present.
This speaks to obedience. Serving God faithfully in the present means knowing and doing what he desires because we know from our past that he always does what’s best for us and simply asks us to trust him in that journey. Serving God faithfully right now also speaks to faith, which often grows out of obedience as we gain more experience living in his consistently full grace.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Trust God for the future.
Our culture says to create our own future and to take control of our lives. But God says to trust him and let him control our lives. He always outdoes anything we can think or imagine.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Not sure about you, but I can think of and imagine quite a lot. As we remember his work throughout our lives, though, we’ll see that his way often took us through the impossible, that it often created paths through the worst terrain, and that we came out stronger as closer to him as a result. Because we know he’s done it before, we know he can do it again.
Active remembering helps us trust God now and in the future because he’s always the same, and we can count on his consistency of character. We know he is just, that he will honor his promises, and that he forgives endlessly when we sincerely repent and turn to him. Remembering helps us know how to live our everyday lives, how to treat people and how to live our lives focused on him based on his instruction for doing so in Scripture.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)