The Activity of Remembering
As Christians, it’s important that we “Don’t Forget to Remember.” Understanding this thread found throughout the Bible helps us understand the place remembering should take in our lives. In other words, a Scriptural understanding helps remembering take on a living purpose as it goes from mere belief to activity.
What does this activity look like practical way in the life of a Christian?
1.) Remember God’s faithfulness in spite of our lack of faithfulness.
The point of remembering as a thread throughout Scripture involves a focus on what God has done and continues to do in spite of what man has done and continues to do. The Old Testament chronicles how God’s character interacts with man’s character. Studying this interaction helps us remember God’s forgiveness, promises, and deliverance in spite of our continuous pattern of rebellion.
2.) Remember Jesus words and actions and let them shape us.
After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples remembered what He had said and done (John 2:22; John 12:16). This motivated them to do what he had called them to do — fulfill the Great Commission. Reading Scripture can do the same for us still today.
3.) Remember and use the resources we are given.
Those resources include the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) who helps us remember Jesus’ teachings, God’s truths, and God’s will. The Holy Spirit also helps us see God working in our lives. The Holy Spirit dwells in us beginning at salvation and remains active in the life of the believer whose job is to let Him lead. (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Another resources, the Bible (2 Peter 3:1-2), brings us God’s instructions for living obediently to Him. Regularly remembering and studying what the Bible says gives us valuable insight & instruction.
A third tool, communion (Luke 22:19) reminds us of atonement and redemption. It reminds us of Jesus’ love to the point of death on the cross for us. This remembering helps keep us humble.
4.) Let God direct our remembering.
We must deliberately choose to let our remembering be directed by God’s truth. To do that, we must let God direct our remembering (Proverbs 16). If we don’t, we too easily get overwhelmed and tend to forget to remember him and what he’s done in our lives.
5.) Forget self. Remember God.
The book of Deuteronomy encourages God’s people to remember their slavery and their rebellion. God wanted them to remember where they were before he intervened. This idea extends into the New Testament as well:
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
Much Old Testament Scripture about remembering focuses on recalling man’s rebelliousness for the purpose of remembering God’s faithfulness, promises, and leading. Paul amplifies the point by telling us not to dwell on our past as we do this recalling. Instead, we are to focus on God’s activity in our lives in spite of our mistakes and rebelliousness.
Purposeful remembering helps move beyond remembering as just an activity of recollection. As we deliberately remember, we grow closer to God. In this, we learn to depend more on him. We also realize again and again that he will never fail us even when we fail him.