Isn’t it fascinating how quickly we forget our theology?
Just last week I wrote about how desperate we are for the Holy Spirit. It was a Monday afternoon I penned these words…
Later that night I went evangelizing with my buddy at a local university. We met our group, prayed, and split up…and sure, we asked the Holy Spirit to lead and work, but there I was, talking and having a great conversation with a Muslim.
By now I’ve spoken with so many Muslims that I feel confident in what to say and what questions to ask. But at no point in the conversation did I ask the Holy Spirit for help or to work. Here I am in the midst of writing a blog post about how how desperately we need the Holy Spirit for all things, including in the area of evangelism, and it took me a whole conversation to realize my folly and to repent and then ask the Holy Spirit for help throughout the next conversations.
Have you noticed this in your life?
We have heard countless sermons, read countless books, had hours with mentors, and yet, when push comes to shove, we so quickly forget all that we’ve learned. But we must not be discouraged because God is continually working in our hearts.
David knew how quick we are to forget, perhaps better than anyone. He knew how quickly he could fall. In Psalm 145, he makes an incredible promise–one that is actually quite astonishing. He says,
I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
I can’t get over that promise David makes. Knowing how emotional we can be as humans, how much circumstances determine how joyful we are. Every day I will bless you means that he has set his heart to do something. That means that he will wake up each morning with the desire and mindset set to action. He will force himself to remember the Lord and to trust in Him.
In Psalm 1, we see that a man of God spends time day and night meditating on the law of the Lord. It is his joy. It is his guide. It is more important than anything the world can offer. Psalm 19 continues this theme where David’s desire is that the words of his mouth and meditation of his heart may be acceptable to Him. He wants his whole life to be pleasing to God. He wants the Lord in his mind at all times, because if He is, then he is convinced that he will not stumble.
John MacArthur says on the topic of meditation,
“Meditation is no less needed today. We live in a culture that continually assaults us with distractions through billboards, television, the Internet, and more. God says that we should keep His Word perpetually in front of our eyes, filling our minds and conversations wherever we go.
Paul clarified what our minds should feed on: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).
“Ultimately, our ongoing relationship with God hinges on sound biblical study. He places monumental importance on knowing, proclaiming, and worshipping Him rightly. And Scripture is the engine driving all of those things. The Dark Ages may have ended, but those who neglect to study and meditate on Scripture shun the light of God’s Word and continue to walk in willful darkness.”
It is so easy to live a care-free Christian life. I’m not even talking about giving in to what most would consider really serious sin. I’m talking more about the sin of self-reliance. The sin of apathy. The sin of “that’s the way I am and I don’t think it’s ever going to change.” Don’t give up so easily. Don’t forget Paul’s challenge in Philippians 2:12 to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.
Work is hard. We must be willing to meditate, to change, and to continually devote ourselves to obeying God, because we are called to work and work is good for the soul.
We as humans give up so easily. We’re constantly tempted to quit. We are tempted to live a life of leisure and laziness–not only in action, but even in thought. But that must not be the case. We must devote ourselves to the destruction of our sin, no matter how insignificant it may seem. And we must continually remind ourselves of the fact that we forget the truths that we learn so easily. We must force ourselves to meditate on our wonderful God. He must be in our minds at all times despite how busy we may be or how mundane we think our tasks may be. If God is not in our minds then we probably are not working for His glory, and when we are not working for His glory, we are working for our own. That’s not only sinful in itself, but it is a pathway to more and more sin.
Of course, we must always remember that it is ultimately the Lord who is at work in us (Phil. 2:14) and that, ultimately, He will perfect the work He begun in us on the day that He brings us to Heaven with Him (Phil 1:6).
Forgetting truths we know is part of living in a fallen world, and it is part of living in the flesh. The question is, will you work hard and continue to meditate on God’s Word, surround yourself with godly counsel, repent quickly of sin, and continue to work on your sanctification for God’s glory?