Do you remember that section of the Bible in Mark, Chapter 8, where the Disciples are concerned that they only have one loaf of bread between them for lunch -- this after witnessing the supernatural power from Heaven that multiplied five loaves to feed 5,000; and seven loaves to feed 4,000! Jesus must have been frustrated with them! He asks them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?”
In other words, Jesus must have been thinking, Can't you see? Can't you hear? And, can't you remember all that God has done for you? Why are you worrying about what you will have for lunch when you've witnessed over 9,000 people fed with a few loaves of bread? Actually, the message to focus on God's supernatural works has been a recurring theme in the Bible, beginning in Deuteronomy 6. The Word says God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to hear His commandments and to keep them; to keep His statutes (which are His values), and to teach them to their children so that [your generations] "do not forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery"... See, hear, and remember.
So, it is my opinion that our remembrances, which are kept alive in our testimonies, are the record/history of God's supernatural activities in our lives, and they are the lenses through which we should see everything else around us in this world. But, here's what often happens ... once we get some time and space between that moment when we receive God's invitation to let Jesus become the Lord and Savior of our life, we begin losing some of the awe of that momentous and supernatural occasion. First, we quit talking about our transformation. Then we quit expecting more supernatural experiences. And then, pretty soon, if we're not careful, we are no longer seeing or hearing evidence of Him in our daily lives. It's not too long before we are engaging with a religious form of God -- we still profess faith in Him; go to Church and go through the motions, but there is no power in our Christian walk, no life, no encounters, and no real relationship with our supernatural God. Our connection with God can become so sterile that we can begin to even question whether He is real. And people will eventually abandon what they perceive to be fake or artificial.
This concept of remembrance is particularly relevant for me today, for it was 35 years ago, on this day in November that God literally saved me. It happened on a Saturday evening around 11 pm, as I returned to my rented house after spending the evening with my soon-to-be husband and his family. I glanced in my rear-view mirror in time to see bright headlights before someone rear-ended me, sending my car rolling up the side of an embankment. Thankfully, I had my seat belt on, because the roof caved in about an inch from my head, while I was being slammed into the driver's-side window as my car rolled up the hill. With each revolution, I cried out to God, with glass spraying me and the sounds of crunching metal assailing my ears. So, when I say that "God saved me", it is the truth. He saved me from a premature death, and saved me by His grace to become an obedient follower of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is important, as a Christian, that I remember and chronicle this testimony of God's hand in my life. This memory has stood the test of time, and is a valuable weapon whenever the Enemy tries to convince me that God is absent or He no longer has work for me to do. This memory is one of the foundations of my faith. It speaks of God's faithfulness to answer when, even in our distance from Him, we cry out and He is still willing to come to our rescue. That's an incredibly important message for today. The world certainly seems upside down; evil is good, and good is called evil. Mankind seems to have sacrificed its humanity for the almighty dollar, and disease and subterfuge are devouring the population. Deception is the byword of governments and corporations, and our children are confused about their gender, our history, and their self-worth. Identity is determined by the number of "likes" we get on social media, and identity politics is the way the game of life is played these days. And where is God is any of this? Are we still capable of knowing who we are as Christians?
You see, Christianity has all the distinctive characteristics of a God who passionately and supernaturally walks with the children He loves: He provided manna from Heaven every day while the Israelites were in the wilderness. When they were desperate for water, He provided it out of a rock. He secured their passage through the Red Sea and the flooding waters of the River Jordan. And I do not doubt that God still desires to work supernaturally in each of our personal lives, and the life of this nation. But it is up to us to make the effort to recall those memories. If we only look at what the Enemy is doing now to disrupt our lives, or how he is manipulating the powers of government, then we do not do our God justice. We should be recounting all the ways He has delivered us and been our stronghold in times of trouble; those times when our world was the darkest, and we feared we may never see the sunshine again.
For when we lose the memories of God's supernatural works in our lives,
we can lose the courage to do the hard stuff, and the strength to get
through the hard times. When trials come our way, it is so important to
have those memory touchstones to return to... to be able to recall how
God supernaturally delivered us, or provided for us. And when what
seems like an impossible situation arises, and we are called to radical
obedience, it is paramount that we rely on our memories of all God has
done for us so that we do not become cowardly in the conflict. Because, my friends, I can tell you, that the days seem to be growing darker in the world. We seem to be counting down to that final cataclysmic event when Jesus comes to put an end to all the evil Satan has incited on the earth. And despite many of the Church's doctrines, I believe we will witness that day and play a part in helping people hang on to their faith.
As we approach that final hour, there is one thing we need to realize... by not remembering the displays of His power in our past, we limit Him and restrict what He wants to do. Remember, He wants us to co-labor with Him to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. But He needs our cooperation and our involvement. When we stop living our lives conscious of the God who invaded this realm, and accomplished the impossible -- healed the sick, cast out demons; freed the oppressed and tormented; and raised the dead -- we begin to reduce the ministry He wants us to do on behalf of the Kingdom. When we forget what He has done, then it becomes all about our gifts and what we have done. And I never want to reduce the possibilities of Him supernaturally conquering this world! I want to live with an ever-present awareness that God can invade every situation in my life. And I want the history of my life to be a reflection of His Presence, and I want to remember every detail to share with whomever will listen. It is vital for the Body of Christ to never lose their memories of God's supernatural activity in this world.
Just as the Lord instructed Joshua to have one man of each of the 12 tribes of Israel place a stone on the banks of the River Jordan [after the nation of Israel passed over into the Promised Land], we need to leave a lasting testimony that not only preserves the memories of God's Greatness and Provision, but prophecies of His future acts of Righteousness and Justice. Nothing has changed since those long-ago days in the Bible. We are serving a God that deserves to be praised and lauded for all He has done. It is important that both we and our future generations never forget. Joshua said it so well ... Testify to the [supernatural] works of the Lord, our God, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is Mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.
Start compiling those memories -- write them down; preserve them -- because they will be the bedrock of your ability to stand in the coming days. Those testimonies will be the spark that fuels our endurance. To God be all the glory!
Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that He has done.