Do We Remember?
For the past eight months or so, I have felt the whisper of the Lord reminding me to “be still." Perhaps it was my head always spinning from our lifestyle, the constant packing up and moving around, the constant wondering how long we'll be on wheels and wondering what it next. I tend to be the kind of person who is in my head too much and the Lord knows that.
I felt this small whisper to be still so often that I finally turned in my Bible to Psalm 46 and read the context of the verse. And I realized that I had been focusing way too much on the “be still” part and not the "know that I am God" part. The Lord began to show me that being still isn’t just trying to rest as I had been trying to do on my own strength. It’s a command to know Him. That rest comes when we know He is God. It’s in the knowing Him that we have peace because we can say with honesty, regardless of my circumstances, I know who God is. I know who I am in Him. He has given us His word to know Him more.
I believe in this crazy time in our world, God is doing some amazing things. I'm watching with eager anticipation. However, the world at large is focused on worry and anxiety. We are cooped up, watching the news, and even as believers are forgetting that we serve a God who throughout history, had his hand on the rise and fall of kingdoms, and on His people.
It's also interesting that all of this is happening around Easter. At the time when we are supposed to remember all He has done. At the time when we are supposed to really know who He is. At the time when we know death is conquered and the grave has no power.
I often think if I was part of the group that was able to witness the Red sea split, and if my feet had walked through that path, and if I had held the hands of my children as we turned and watched it fall on our enemies, I’d never again doubt God.
But as I sit and remind myself about what He has done in my own life, I’m reminded that I didn’t remember these times and allowed myself again and again to doubt Him and allow that seed of faith to be stolen. I’m really no different than they were.
But it doesn't have to be this way. What if we as believers were so saturated with who God is and we were so confident in His word, that suddenly our faith became the one that moved mountains? That our trust in Him was so great that nothing could keep our eyes off of Him?
I am sharing with you just a few ways that I have been keeping my eyes focused on the Lord. Remembering who He is. Nothing here is rocket science. Nothing here is new. But I've been more intentional about all these things and I think it's what is keeping me at peace, in this time in our world and also this time of a lot of personal circumstance.
Write it down
Without actually using your Bible, start making a list of all the things you can remember and think of that you know God has done throughout history. Leave room at the bottom of your list and take a few days to add things as you think of them. I think you’ll be amazed at how much you can remember without being prompted.
Then, start to ask God, what does this tell me about you? Who are you in this story? Who are you in this place and time? Add that behind these notes.
Write it down and make it personal
Make another list where you write down times from your own life where you remember God was with you. This list can include the bigger things in life, but more than likely it will contain more of the smaller things. Moments that didn't feel significant but when you look back on a situation, you realize it was God’s hand on your life. Spend time asking God to show you these times. This list might take you much longer to complete. As God reveals something to you, perhaps in the middle of the day when you’re not even thinking about it, add it to your list. This can even become it’s own separate journal, a journal that becomes your constant reminder of who God is and how He is with you.
Start your prayers differently
Our pastor from Praise Community Church has illustrated this so many times and while I’ve practiced it before, I was never very consistent with it. I have a tendency in my prayers to just jump right in and while I think constant communication with the Lord is good, I can often just focus on that thing I’m asking about.
Instead, start your prayers reminding yourself who God is by telling Him. You are the God who…thank you for…thank you for when you…Reminding yourself who God is when you go to Him in prayer starts to combine with gratitude and postures your prayers in a place of confidence. It really makes a difference starting prayers this way!
I love worship music because it allows me to say back to Him what is true in ways that I can't come up with on my own. Make a playlist with your favorite songs. Play them again and again. Sing along. When we say aloud those things that are true, it solidifies in our hearts what is true. It hard to cook dinner and burst out words of hope and love and then turn around and yell at our children. Filling our ears and minds and hearts with who God is can keep our eyes focused on Him. Not everyone loves to sing and not everyone sings well and in tune (ahem...that's me). But there's something about filling up the atmosphere of your home, your car, your office, etc...that ushers in the presence of God.
Read the Word of God and Journal
When you read your Bible, read it from the lens of wanting to know who God is. There’s nothing wrong with just reading your Bible, don’t get me wrong! We don’t have to study it everytime we read. But if we really want to focus on knowing God more, we can ask ourselves a simple question. After we read, ask ourselves, “Who is God here? What is He showing me?” If you’re not sure, ask Him. If you’re still not sure, that’s okay too, but trust He can reveal that to you.
Romans tells us faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So read aloud. When you hear the words of God and you hear the things He has done and hear His heart through His Word, it increases faith. I am guilty of being a speed reader (due to my nature of being a plot junkie) and I find that crosses over into Bible reading. Reading aloud forces me to slow down and hear what it is I am reading.
If you’re unsure of where to start, my pastor and friend Brian from Faith Like Birds Ministry, recently reminded us just to start in the Gospels. Remind ourselves who Jesus is. Fall in love with Him all over. In my journal, I wrote down the book I was reading and then the verses I read and just a few notes of who Jesus is to me when I read those passages. Does anything make our faith rise more than when we read of who Jesus is and all that He done?!
If there is one thing I've learned in traveling and exploring our world is that creation reveals God. We have a sun that rises and sets every day, a sky full of stars that is revealed every night, a setting of our Earth in the perfect place. We have seasons and moon phases and nowhere on Earth is this evidence hidden.
Theres's something calming about getting fresh air. There's something about standing on a mountain or glimpsing an eagle or staring at the vastness of the sky that can send you into silence or put you on your knees about the magnificence of God. When you spend time really thinking about the creativity of the Lord in the species he created in plants and animals and the perfection of the working of our bodies, we know He reveals himself through His creation.
So when your head feels cloudy or your patience is thin, step outside. Lift up your face. Allow the knowledge that the sun beating down on you was created by God and perfectly placed in the universe. That the air you breathe in your lungs was given by Him. That you were perfectly and wonderfully made and born for such a time as this.
What about you friends? What do you do to stay in that place of knowing God?