July 1, 2017
Worship is Intentional remembering
Every Holiday, Birthday, Anniversary, is about a time of remembering
Its July the Second this Sunday and this week we celebrate Americas 241st Birthday. Flag waving, Concerts, and fireworks help us to remember what our great nation has accomplished and the foundations that formed us as a nation.
Our Brains store information about where we’ve been and what we have experienced in our lives. However, what we focus on most often will obviously fill the forefront of our minds. But of those, the things that we cherish the deepest will compel us the greatest. Our memory serves to motivate us when we are going through dark or tough times.
God tells us over and over in His word to remember.
Even things that we should never conceivably forget, still we’re told again, remember. Why? Because our all-knowing, all-wise God knows how easily we forget – how easily we’re distracted and even deceived. And He knows far better than we do the importance of what we hold in our minds.
In Joshua 4:7, God had the Israelites take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan so they would remember what He did for them there. He didn’t want them to ever forget.
The stones were reminders that they could literally see and touch that screamed our God is faithful!
Similarly, Jesus instructed us to take the bread and wine so we would continue to remember what He did for us on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).
This foundational sacrament is a powerful reminder that engages our entire being – which we can see, touch, and even consume. Over and over again. Don’t ever forget! That’s the message.
I think most of us love having reminders we can see and touch.
I treasure the many photo albums in my house (physical and otherwise) that tell the story of my life and loved ones and bring back a flood of emotions with them.
And I think it’s even more important to have reminders of our God story. That’s one reason I journal nearly daily (I highly encourage this), and will even bookmark key days when God showed me something powerful from His word or when I felt Him intervene in a very real way.
Because like the Israelites, I’m sure there are things He doesn’t want me to ever forget. Simply Put, worship always involves remembering and responding.
When we remember, we are proclaiming “You are who you say you are! And we are surrendering at His feet.
- So it’s important when the tough times come that our most powerful memory is But You are . . . or But You say . . .
- It’s important when the blessings come that we remember to say, You have been faithful to . . . and You are good.
- And it’s important as we observe His spectacular creation around us that our first response is You, my God, are mighty! There is no one like You!
This only happens if my thoughts of God are fresh, real, and strong.
There’s no comparison between the power and intimacy in my times of worship as that when my memory of God and His faithfulness is strong – and when it’s just not.
- In the former, I can quickly get to the foot of the throne and pour out all that my God deserves in His intimate presence.
- And in the latter, the distractions are strong, the memories a struggle, and the intimacy just not there. It’s not true worship.
We need to do whatever it takes to intimately KNOW and REMEMBER the One True God who we’re called to worship.
We should ask His Spirit to help us remember (John 14:26), but also take steps to record His goodness, faithfulness, love, power . . . In the past and present. In the large or small.
Beth Moore says, “A powerful motivation for believing God in our present is intentionally remembering how He’s worked in our past.” And the most dynamic fuel for our response to Him in worship is intentionally remembering who our God is and always has been. He compels our hearts and knees to bow in worship!
Follow Asaph’s example in Psalm 77:11-13 when he said, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?”
So let’s be intentional about remembering!
Whether it takes stack of rocks, a journal, or a solid determination to “declare [His] loving kindness in the morning And [His] faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:2), He deserves nothing less!
What do you do to intentionally remember who God is and what He has done for you?