There are times in many a believer’s life when they have what is referred to as a mountain-top experience. Maybe it happens during a church service, or at a retreat/conference/event as loads of excitement generates, or through worship and prayer as hearts are set on fire. Where ever it occurs, it’s generally climactic and perspective shifts.
Whereas life may have been dull or painful before entering in to this moment, suddenly all is wonderful and beautiful. Anything is possible. The things of this world grow small and dim while the grandeur of God is close and all consuming.
In this experience our understanding of who God is expands and hearts are ready to live with bountiful feelings of peace, joy, and freedom. We’ve been given a glimpse into something beyond our ability to comprehend.
It doesn’t last.
Eventually, sometimes very quickly, the believer comes down from the mountain and everything shifts once again. What was once seen as conquerable is now impossible. What God revealed is no longer apparent. A moment comes and goes like a flash and our minds are quick to forget all the goodness we temporarily took in.
Our hearts need to see what our eyes become blind to.
How can we hold on to the goodness of God when we’ve descended from the heights and begun to walk the valleys again? How can we not lose hope when the winds howl and the rain pours?
We choose remembrance so we can know that we know that we know God is good, even when what we see tells us otherwise.
Like when someone we love has just been diagnosed with a serious illness, or a tragedy comes on all of a sudden, or a marriage crumbles, or a child makes choices which could harm themselves or others, or when a friendship fails. There are so many ways in which our present reality becomes an overwhelming threat to our hearts’ assuredness of God’s very real glory.
No matter what. God never changes.
Who he is doesn’t change. How he operates doesn’t change. His love never stops. His ways never cease to be good.
Choosing remembrance is choosing to recall the ways in which God showed his presence in times past. It’s choosing to reassure ourselves of the truths He’s spoken and revealed throughout history.
When our hearts are shaky and uncertain, choosing remembrance ushers in a sense of peace we can’t manufacture.
Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, ~ Psalm 105:5
You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. ~ Deuteronomy 8:18
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” ~ Luke 22:19
Joshua chapter 4 records God’s command to his people to choose twelve stones, one for each tribe of Israel, as a stone of remembrance. They were to be a reminder to them and their children of how God stopped the waters so they could cross into the Jordan, a rather momentous occasion.
After decades of wandering in the desert and forgetting every good thing God had down for them, God knew their hearts would need a reminder again.
During their wandering, Moses spent much time with God on the mountain, receiving the commandments and other instructions. When he descended, he had not forgotten his mountain-top experience when he saw the golden calf and how the people turned their hearts away from God.
Moses remembered. He also remembered God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. He reminded God of what he remembered and God “relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing his people.”
God wants to hear from his children that not only do they remember, but they believe in his goodness to the point of reminding him what he already knows.
Because I tend to be a person who forgets this. And I’ve often been too afraid to ask God for anything, believing he didn’t really want to give it to me. I have wrestled to hold on to kingdom glimpses.
Even so, God is good and he does not change.
When we cannot see what we need to remember, we can ask the Spirit to show us. Then wait, watch, and listen.
When you see the goodness of God in a moment, and then you descend from the heights into the challenges around you, choose remembrance.
CULTIVATE: Do a study on remembrance in scripture. Consider keeping a journal to record moments of God’s goodness so that when you can not see them, you can remind yourself of what you’ve already known. (I have a purple notebook just for this purpose called “Kingdom Glimpses”.)