August 1, 2011
My work week got off to a glorious start. I rolled into work about an hour late today. My tardiness wasnt due to sleeping in or my children being under the weather. I was late because I couldnt find my keys. Unfortunately, this is a normal occurrence. The forgetfulness strain is part of my DNA.
If it werent for Facebook reminders, Id forget friend and family members birthdays. Im the guy with the dazed look on his face wandering down the aisles in the grocery store trying to recall what his wife wanted him to pick up for dinner. From phone numbers to important details, my brain is often scattered.
Yet, my forgetfulness impacts me on a much greater scale than Id like to admit. In these moments, Im not talking about misplacing an item or forgetting to complete a task on my Honey Do list. There are gaps in my memory of Gods faithfulness. Im speaking of those earth shaking moments when God moved in my life.
For most of us, there was a time in our lives when we thought we could never forget what God has done. The moment we accepted the cross, the redemption of past hurts, how God brought us through situations where all hope seemed lost. But, somehow we did forget. Okay, maybe forget is not the right word. After the euphoria passes and life gets back to normal, these moments are quickly forgotten. Then when our faith gets stale or we are faced with another challenging situation we find ourselves asking God, Where are you? Are you going to come through? What have you done for me lately?
All of humanity suffers from short term memory loss. This is nothing new. It has always been this way and one only need to open up the Old Testament to see this is true. There is a reoccurring theme which threads itself throughout the story of God. It is one of Gods faithfulness and pursuit followed almost instantaneously by our forgetfulness, fear and disobedience. Sadly, sometimes the stories seem like a sequel of disobedience because the events which unfold are almost identical to one another. God does something incredible and the Israelites rejoice in His faithfulness. Things return to normal and they forget. It sounds horrible. How could you forget God doing something miraculous in your life?
The sad truth is that it happens all the time. We forget the miracle of salvation. We forget the miracle of redemption. We forget the miracle of provision. We forget the miracle of the moment. And if we are not careful and don’t do something to counteract the normal pace of life, we will forget the miracle of the life change we hoped for and in fact, have experienced.
To counteract our tendency to forget, God commands us to grab a few stones. The erecting of altars is a practice seen throughout the pages of the Old Testament. From the Israelites constructing one after crossing the Red Sea to Abraham giving thanks to God for providing another sacrifice and sparing his son Isaac, people placed rocks on top of each other so they would remember that at this point and time they experienced firsthand Gods faithfulness and provision. The altar served as a physical reminder of what God had done in their lives.
The point of the rocks is simple. They are to take the rocks, stack them up and remember. By making an altar, they will never forget what has happened and what God did. The same holds true with you. You are going to where you have never been before and you need to take some drastic measures to remember your progress.
A few months ago we focused all of our attention on embracing struggle. You’ve learned that Gods work, the growth that He demands of you, will push you to extremes. But now, eight months into the year, you need to give yourself permission to move to stop for a moment and rejoice. Your word must move from conflict to celebration. The struggle may never completely go away, but instead of focusing on the hard moments, this month we want you to acknowledge those times when you got things right and where you lived up to the image behind your word.
This is not just about patting yourself on the back. It’s to make sure these moments don’t disappear into thin air. If you fail to celebrate, it will be easy to fall into the trap of forgetfulness. Your moments of victory, growth and maturity will come and go and when they’re gone they could be lost forever. Instead this month we want you to search for altars and remember God’s faithfulness.
- Read Genesis 22:14 and Joshua 4:1-9. Why are we as humans so prone to forget Gods faithfulness to us? How is the art of remembrance critical for our walk with God?
- In the midst of being intentional about your One Word, how have you experienced Gods faithfulness? What moment throughout your One Word experience would you build an altar marking God moving in your life? How has this encouraged you to continue with the process and take deeper steps of faith?
Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2011. If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!