I believe there are many things we Christians need to constantly remember, but three things in particular are most important - remembering what God and Jesus have done for you, remembering where you have come from, and remembering where you are going.
The first thing we need to constantly remind ourselves of is what God and Jesus have done for us.
We can see throughout the Bible how important remembrance is to God. You might think that of course we will remember the miracles and other things God has done for us, but the fact is we so easily forget. When we worry or doubt, we must remind ourselves of those miracles God has already done in our lives, and we must remember the times He has answered our prayers and has shown up in the midst of chaos.
When God gave the Israelites the Passover lamb to protect them from the angel of death, He instructed them to remember. Exodus 12:14 says, “This day shall be for you a Memorial Day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.”
He gives them this command to constantly remind the Israelites how He saved them and delivered them from the Egyptians. God instructed them to continue the Passover meal every year so that they would remember what He did in their lives. Jewish people to this day continue the Passover tradition, and they also remember Him with many other festivals and meals.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, God instructs the Israelites as follows: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
In the same way we Christians have the Lord’s supper to remember what Jesus did on the Cross for us. Christians around the world have been practicing Communion for nearly 2000 years now. Jesus directs us to take the bread and the wine to remember Him and what He did for us.
Why does God give us these instructions to remember? Why did He tell the Israelites to continue with the Passover, and tell them to go as far as writing the laws on their hands and foreheads and on the doorframes of their houses?
Because we forget! And God knows this. Not only do we forget, but this also shows us the importance of remembering what God has done. God wants us to remember what He has done for us.
When we remember that He sent Jesus to die on the cross and saved us from a life of death, we will want to serve Him, not out of obligation but out of love! I still remember when I got saved, and I realized all God saved me from. All I wanted to do was serve Him. But slowly you start forgetting and serving Him doesn’t seem like the most important thing.
Not only do we need to remember what Jesus did on the cross but we need to remember the miracles Jesus and God did in the Bible, so we can imitate Jesus. God has called us to be imitators of Jesus - we are to do as Jesus does. So, we must remember how He walked and what He did, so that we will have faith that we can do the same.
If we don’t remember what He did, we could forget and we could just settle for a mediocre life and not live the life God has called us to. We must remember the miracles He has done in our life so that when we are faced with trials, we know that God is bigger than any trial.
The story of the Israelites is very sad. They constantly go to God, and then they do great and are blessed, and God walks with them and prospers them. But then what do they do? They forget. They forget what God did, they forget God’s laws and even forget God Himself, and go back to idols. Then they get destroyed and have famine and sickness and get conquered by their enemies. If you have read through the Old Testament, you will know that the Israelites consistently go through this cycle.
I remember when I first read through the Bible and read the story of the Israelites I thought “Wow! How dumb can these people be!” Look at all God has done in their life, yet they continue to turn away from Him. How can they forget all that He has done? How can they keep going back to their old sins?
But we do that too, don't we? I know I have. I know that God has done amazing things in my life, but I still go back to sinning. But even though God has done these amazing things I forget about them, and I sin and go against Him.
I have had times where I’ve realized that I start saying white lies again, or I don't spend time with Him when I should, or I even say things to my wife or kids to hurt them that I know I shouldn't be saying. Why do I do those things? Because I forget. I forget what God has done for me. I forget about the miracles He has done in my life.
Sometimes I am even presented with people who have sickness and disease or pain and I don’t pray for them or have faith they will be healed. Even my own sister. She has depression, and I doubt God can heal her, and I just give up. Why do we do these things? Why do we lose faith and give up? Because we do not consciously remember what God does in our life. God has healed me from much greater things than depression. We need to choose to remember that God can do the impossible and if we live really believing that, we will live in a totally different way.
I am not just preaching to you; I am preaching to myself. Remembering what God has done has to be a conscious effort every day. You need to constantly remind yourself what God has done. Even as I wrote this sermon, I thought of all that God brought me through. The statistics say that I should still be a drug addict, but God said otherwise and God is bigger than statistics.
I constantly need to remind myself of my testimony, and what God has brought me out of! Like all of us, I need to remember where I’ve come from.
And just like me, you have a testimony of what God has done in your life and where you have come from.
When I look back at my life and see where I have come from, I have hope that God can do the impossible. I have hope that God can heal. God can heal my sister. He can heal that person on the street. He can heal cancer. God is bigger than any problem we face. When I remember where I have come from, I remember all that God has set me free from, and it encourages me to tell as many people as I can about His goodness and His love.
But I need to consistently remind myself. It is easy for me to look at my life and look at what I have done and where I am at, but I need to remember that it is God who brought me here.
I cannot just get comfortable thinking I am doing good, I must remember where God brought me from so that I am constantly in thanksgiving for what He has done in my life, and so I don't get prideful.
So just like I need to constantly remind myself, we all need to do this. We need to remind ourselves of where we have come from, so that we can have hope for anyone who is still in a deep pit or in distress. We can have hope for the lost, for our unsaved family members, or for our sick friends.
Lastly, we need to remember where we are going - just like David did in 1st Samuel 24. In this story, Saul comes chasing after David when David and his men are in a cave. Conveniently enough, Saul comes into the cave to “relieve himself”, and David’s men tell him that Saul is there, and they tell him to kill Saul. But instead David cuts off a piece of Saul’s clothing, and then calls out to Saul that he could have killed him, but chose not to.
Why did David do this? He did this because he remembered where he was going. He remembered that God had Samuel anoint him as king. He could have killed his enemy Saul, but instead he chose to remember where he was going and trust that God was going to position him as king. He didn't have to take the position on his own. And in the end, God did position him as king, and he becomes one of the most revered kings in the Bible.
In the same way, we must remember what God has told us, and the prophetic words spoken over our lives. After my wife Miruna and I got back from China, I went to the School of Ministry and then I was hired by the Catch the Fire church. I had such a desire to church plant and I had prophetic words that said I would be a church planter, and I thought my job at the church would lead me to be able to walk out my calling.
But then I resigned from CTF last April and worked full time in the phone business. At that time, I started to have doubts and to question if I had made a mistake. I wondered if I had missed my calling by taking that job. But then I remembered the prophetic words spoken over my life, and I remembered that I am a church planter and that this choice was not going to affect that. I had to remember where I was going in order to deal with the doubts I faced.
I had another incident in June where I remembered where I was going. It was right after Bryan Stephenson had asked Miruna and I to speak at CTF Ottawa the first time. I woke up from a nap and started to cough blood and I could barely breathe. It felt as if my lungs were being filled with blood. I quickly did the thing you should never do when you are feeling sick. I Googled what the problem was.
Google told me I was dying and I immediately started to panic. But then after a while, I started to remember the prophetic words that had been spoken over my life. I remembered that God had said I was going to church plant – that God had said I was going to make leaders and pour into people’s lives.
I knew that these words had not been fulfilled yet, so I knew that I was not going to die. Because I remembered those words about where I was going, I was able to have peace in the midst of this situation.
In the same way, you can remember where you are going. Remember the prophetic words spoken over you. I encourage you to record prophetic words you’ve been given so that you can remember them and go over them in hard times - or even just in times when you need encouragement - so you can remember where you are going and what God has called you to do.
So, in conclusion, always remember these three things. Remember what God has done for you, remember where you have come from, and remember where you are going.