Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remembering The Rainbow, The Trumpet and The Tassel

"He has made His wonders to be remembered..."
Psalm 111:4

What does a rainbow, a trumpet and a tassel all have in common? All of them are spoken of in the Bible to remind someone of something. Specifically in three different ways--God remembered certain things, people prayed for God to remember certain things and we are told to remember certain things. 

The Rainbow--God's Reminder
God remembered Noah in the ark and sent a wind to dry the land. Afterwards, He made the rainbow to remind Himself of His covenant with the living things on the earth. Yes, God actually made the rainbow for Him to look at it and remember something. This is not the only place in the Bible that talks about God remembering. He remembered Abraham when He was destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, and sent Lot out of the city to save him. He remembered things like His covenant, His word and His lovingkindness. He remembers the sins of some but chooses not to remember the sins of His people.

The Trumpet--Our Cry for God to Remember
We also read in the Bible that people prayed for God to remember them in times of need. In fact, God told the Israelites when they went to war against enemies who attacked them, that they were to blow the trumpets so He would remember them and save them from their enemies. When He heard the sound, He would remember. At other times, people prayed for Him to remember them--Samson, Hannah, Hezekiah, David, Nehemiah, Job and Jeremiah for example.

The Tassel--Our Reminder
Not only does God remember, but we are to remember things as well. The Israelites were constantly told to remember God's commands. They were told to remember the Sabbath, to remember Him, His Name, His deeds and wonders, all He had done for them and so on. When they remembered the fish and the cucumbers and all the food they had in Egypt instead of appreciating the manna He provided along with their freedom, the Lord became angry at them. He told them later on to remember how they provoked Him to wrath, so they wouldn't do it again. He gave them something to help them remember. He told them to put tassels on the corners of their garments to remind them of His commandments and be holy to Him.

There are other "reminders" in the Bible--Rahab's scarlet thread, and the memorial stones on the side of the Jordan River for example. The best one of all, of course, is remembering the body and blood of Jesus Christ which was broken and shed for us, so we may receive salvation. We remember Jesus every time we take communion.

Why is there so much talk about remembering? Why does God use objects and signs to remind us? Why does He remind Himself? It's not that He is in danger of forgetting, but that He stays true to who He is. The rainbow is a sign of God's faithfulness to remain true to His Word. The trumpet is a reminder of God's promise of deliverance. The reminders for us are for the same purpose. Jesus said that after a woman has a child she forgets the pain because of the joy of the birth. This is good, or no one would ever have more than one child! However there are moments when we need to remember the tough times. He told them to remember when they were slaves and to remember when they provoked Him. In Revelation He said to remember and repent. In the same way, we need to remember the battles we go through, along with the victories the Lord gives us, so we too will remain faithful to Him. We sometimes forget just how bad it is when we wander away from the Lord. All of these reminders are for a consistent declaration of His goodness, His faithfulness and our faithfulness to Him in return. 

Another thing happens when you remember the Lord. By remembering Him you are keeping the memory of Him current in your life today. But its more than just the memory of Him. Keeping Him current, keeps His current--like an electrical current--flowing through you. God is eternal, He's not bound by time like we are. Our spirits are eternal as well, and when we keep Him current in our thoughts His life is active within us. We all know that our words are powerful, however our thoughts are powerful too. We're told to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This is considered a weapon against that which wars against us. Keeping our thoughts on the Lord is a powerful thing. So when the Lord gives a token to remind you of Him or something He's done, it's not that there is a special power in that token, it's not to become an idol, but it's to remind you of Him, empowering you to keep Him alive in your thoughts and as a result, keep His life flowing through you. There is power in remembering! Don't forget to remember!

Genesis 8:1, Genesis 9:16, Genesis 19:29, Exodus 6:5, Psalm 105:8, Psalm 98:3, Jeremiah 14:10, Isaiah 43:25, Numbers 10:9, Judges 16:28, 1 Samuel 1:11, 2 Kings 20:3, Psalm 132:1, Nehemiah 13:14, Job 10:9, Jeremiah 15:15, Deuteronomy 8, Numbers 11:5, Deuteronomy 9:7, Numbers 15:38-40, Joshua 2:18, Joshua 4, 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, John 16:21, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Revelation 2:5, Revelation 3:3

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Greater is He Who is in You!

When praying about what is going on in the world today, and the evil that seems to be running rampant, the Lord reminded me that the Spirit of God in His people is greater than the evil that is in the world. The Spirit of God within you, is more powerful than the evil in the world!

every spirit that does not confess Jesus
is not from God;
this is the spirit of the antichrist,
of which you have heard that it is coming,
and now it is already in the world.
You are from God, little children,
and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:3-4

I was reminded to put more faith in the Spirit of God living through me, than evil spirits living through others. Our faith is not in what we can do for God, but what He can do through us. The blood of Jesus is powerful enough to wipe out every sin from our life. This is the basis of our faith. Do we think our sin, faults and shortcomings are too much for the blood of Jesus? Do we think that what He did on the cross wasn't enough to change our hearts into one that can receive the Spirit of God? Absolutely not! No more false humility! It's time to rise up with courage and confidence in what our God can do through us. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you have the Greater One living in you!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; 
Who is the one who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:4-5

Not long ago Psalm 93:7 seemed to jump off the page at me:

when the wicked sprouted up like grass 
And all who did iniquity flourished, 
It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.

When evil seems to prevail, it's only so that it can be dealt with. God will take care of wickedness in the earth. His heart is open towards those who love Him and call upon Him as David said...

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry
and will save them.
The Lord keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth will speak the 
praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever
and ever.
Psalm 145:18-21