Day Three: Remember (Remember Not)
Rick Warren said, “We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.”
All of us have a past. It is just part of our reality. We can’t deny it. We can’t always forget it. Rather, our past is something that is part of our journey. Our past, as Rick Warren, says has a way of ‘producing’ our identity.
But the good news is we don’t have to be slaves to our past. Each day gives us a choice.
EACH DAY GIVES US A CHOICE.
The choice is not only what we do with our present moment, but also how we handle our past experiences. Each person reading this has good memories, bad memories, good experiences, bad experiences. Each of these together have influenced your personal identity, your values, and your belief system. The culmination of your past forms your present worldview.
Unfortunately, as we noted yesterday, our minds tend to grab hold of and embrace the negative more than the positive. Over time, this process begins to create an expectation that drives our decisions. We lose hope. We give up dreams. We expect failure and loss rather than breakthroughs and favor.
But we have a choice!
God gives us two keys for allowing our past to make us better and not bitter. What are those two keys?
Remember the past.
Don’t remember the past.
Maybe you thought to yourself, “Wait a minute! What do you mean, remember and remember not? This doesn’t make sense!” and with good reason, right?
Let’s break it down and see what God is telling us.
When you look at the word, ‘REMEMBER’ it is similar to “REPENT”. And we learned that ‘repentance’ means to have a ‘change of mind’. To Remember, then, means ‘to call to mind’. In other words, it is when things of the past are brought into our present focus. It's an invitation to what has happened in our past to join us again in the present.
First of all, what does God want us TO remember?
Isaiah 46: 8 “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
We are supposed to call to mind the reality that there is no one like our God. We must remember the times that He defeated our enemies, performed miracles, and accomplished His will even when it looked hopeless. God is faithful. He is an ever-present help in a time of trouble and the past proves it!
But, God also says, “Don’t remember this.”
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18,19)
We have to lay aside the negative experiences. We must forgive people. Let go of offenses. We must not invite the negative aspects of our brokenness to continue to have power over our present.
Again, this is a choice. You have the power to remember and NOT to remember. Remembering something does not necessarily have power when it is a fleeting thought that comes through your mind. It is paying attention to the thought and actually inviting it to be a point of ‘counsel’ for your current decisions, emotions, and perspectives.
So, today. Remember. And Remember Not. Remember God is faithful. And don’t call to mind what the enemy has used to disqualify you, to devalue your dreams, and distract your attention on the future and the hope that God is working on right now for you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.