Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Stop Remembering What God Forgot

As I said goodbye to 2017… wait… that’s not entirely true. I actually wanted to scream, “GOOD RIDDANCE!” Yeah, that felt a bit better. Any rate, I said goodbye and began the New Year by having gone to bed early.

Last year (even though 2017 was only a few days ago) brought many trying times. I won’t go into detail, but I will say, I have recently realized God was teaching me some things. Through some very rough times, He has never left me. Although, I’ve thought a time or two that He did… but, I learned my lesson on that one years ago. I don’t want a repeat of the lesson. It was too frightening. This brings me to the biggest lesson, which I just realized today.

God has been trying to get my attention for a while. I’ve seen it. I’ve listened. Then, promptly forgot, because why? I’m not paying attention.

I’m distracted.

After listening to my pastor on Sunday, I realized that, while he’s preaching to the entire church body, God was directing his (my pastor’s) words to me. Yes, it was for me. And the message was clear:

The enemy is messing with you and you are letting him. Stop it!

I’ve been fretting over many things lately and pretty much having a spiritual pity party because I don’t seem to have the oomph I once had. Well, whose fault is that? Mine. It’s my fault for allowing the enemy to sneak in and clothesline me.

It was two days later that it all became quite clear. I was reading a blog post by an author friend of mine, which had also been posted on Sunday (imagine that). She, too, had been given a message from the Lord. Apparently she and I were in the same boat spiritually. But it was her revelation that brought on mine.

Her message: “You see a thief and help him.”*

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” Who’s the thief? The devil. What does he steal, kill and destroy? Anything he can. But what I was doing was allowing him to steal my peace, my joy, and I was allowing him to bring back old memories of stuff God had long since forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17), along with stuff He had healed me from. A rather sneaky attack, if you ask me.

So, here I am, reading about someone I’ve never met personally, having the same struggles as myself. How ironic, yet not a coincidence. This brought me back to what I heard and learned in church on Sunday. I’ve compiled them below:

#1 Get the Word of God in you and encourage yourself.

Well, great. I had taken the easy way out and all but stopped reading the Bible. In fact, I was reading the Bible, sort of. Actually, I was reading the Verse of the Day, and then listening to the Bible read to me by clicking the audio button. Yes, it’s wonderful. But as soon as my allotted verses were finished, I closed the app. I was done. I wasn’t allowing God to speak to me and I wasn’t encouraging myself in His Word.

#2 Inquire of the LORD (ask Him questions)

This one was tricky. I asked the Lord questions, but really, not the right ones. My questions consisted of why’s and what for’s, instead of actually asking Him questions so I can learn. There’s a difference. It’s all in your attitude. Mine stank.

#3 Engage with the LORD (pursue Him, meet with Him)

Again, tricky. Every morning, when I wake up, I tell the Lord, good morning and I also tell Him I love Him. That much is true. I really do. It’s what was coming after that that had me in a conundrum. I was redundant, stale, and repetitious. Yes, we are to “keep asking, seeking and knocking” (Matthew 7:7), but mine was unfeeling as well. How could I expect any answers from Him if I’m not willing to ask sincerely? Exactly. I can’t.

#4 Be inspired by the LORD (let Him show you and teach you things)

I wasn’t getting any answers because I wasn’t allowing myself to actually engage with Him, so how could He inspire me? Yet, early in the morning (middle of the night) He wakes me up with words so clear, then a nudge to write them down, so I quickly did (that’s for another time). The point is, even though I’ve been disobedient, He is ever faithful and blessed me before calling me out. It was a kind of teaser; I’ll give you this if you’ll give me that.

But it just hit me that it was more like, Come to Me because I’m getting ready to show you something amazing.

How often we forget that God is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). He loves us. He cherishes us. All of us! We are chosen (Ephesians 1:4). So why, oh why, do we think we aren’t good enough for Him to love us? The answer is, because instead of putting the devil, our great enemy, in his place and moving on, we allow him to stop us by telling us we aren’t good enough, and allow him to whisper lies to us. “Remember when you did…”

What we should do is retaliate, “But do you remember when Jesus defeated you on the cross, then rose from the dead? Do you remember that you lost?” (James 4:7)

Trust me, he does remember.

Ridiculous as this may sound to you, we really are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). That means overwhelming victory belongs to you and to me because we believe in Jesus.

It’s 2018. It should be a fresh start. Regroup. Come out swinging. I’ve got a job to do. We all do. How we do it, is our individual calling. I know mine. Do you know yours? If you don’t, get in God’s Word, read, pray, and search for your answer. Need help? Ask! But whatever you do, stop letting the devil steal from you and stop letting him bring up the past.

You know, one of the biggest lessons from Sunday could quite possibly be:
Stop remembering the things that God has forgotten!

It’s time to tell the devil to take a hike. Let’s take 2018 by storm and make a difference. By next New Year’s Eve, I hope we can all say, “Wow! What a great ride!”


*Blog post reference from Danele Rotharmel


Danele Rotharmel said...

Dear Shelley, I really enjoyed your blog post! Thank you so much for sharing your insight and your thoughts. Your post was a blessing. -- Danele

Shelley Wilburn said...

Oh, Danele! I'm glad you were as blessed as I am by you.

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