Do you remember cramming for those final exams? Putting together material for a 10 page research paper? Running bible verses with your little ones on the way to Awana so they get their patch? (Yes…I was “that” mom that would forget to help my girls with their Awana homework until about 2 hours before they needed to be at church.) Let me ask you this….do you really and truly remember any of those things that you studied? I think you can call that “Situational Amnesia.”
Or my personal favorite….after just a few weeks of driving 16 miles (which in SoCal speak = 35 minutes of drive time) on 3 freeways to get my girls to school (for seven years!), it didn’t take long for a certain type of “amnesia” to set in. Fairly soon, I knew the rhythm of the morning and afternoon traffic, and my car seemed to “just know” how to get there and back. It was actually a bit disturbing when on occasion, I would pull into the driveway back home and wonder, “How did I get here?” EEK!
Have you or someone you know, ever experienced amnesia? Or maybe just selective amnesia? I think all young children fall into the latter category at some point in time. A mom will ask, “Did you remember that I told you not to walk through the house with mud on your shoes?” And the child will answer, “No.” Mom ~ “Well, I’ve told you everyday this month. You don’t remember?” Child ~ “I don’t know.” Good times! Translate that to conversations we have with our Heavenly Father, “Do you remember that by grace you have been saved?” Our response, “No….I have to work hard to prove I’m worth it.” ~ that my friends is Spiritual Amnesia!
Okay ~ we’ve read our bible during our morning quiet time; we’ve read over our scripture verse of the week to memorize; we have our time of prayer with the Lord.
…..we walk out the door to begin our day (and sometimes don’t even make it that far) when we are hit with a situation or person, which causes us to forget everything we just did! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN??? How can we so quickly forget the goodness and grace of God!?
I think partly this happens to me because I’m not really spending time in God’s Word, I’m speeding through it to check it off my “to do” list. I’m being honest here. I’m not proud of that and I don’t recommend it all. Now, I don’t think there is anythign wrong with putting “Quiet Time” in your planner or on your iPhone calendar ~ but right now, please join me in choosing to enjoy this time spent with the Lord instead of as just something we have to get through to get on with our day. That’s the attitude that causes spiritual amnesia.
Amnesia literally means:
**In no way in this blog do I mean to diminish the reality of amnesia that some people may have to live with everyday. It’s very serious, and I do not wish to make light of it.**
That said, what could be a “brain injury or shock” that we can encounter as a Christian that causes us to forget who God is and who He has created us to be?
*You prayed for a loved one to be healed and they died.
*You lost your job and it’s been months or years since you had full time employment.
*Your child disobeyed you AGAIN for the same reason.
*Your marriage suddenly erupts with the uncovering of years of being lied to by your spouse.
*Your child tells you that they don’t want to see you anymore.
*People you thought were your friends have been gossiping about you behind your back.
And I’m sure you can add a few more to the list.
But guess what ~ as horrible as those things are, they don’t have to define you. These are the moments in time when it is imperative to have been having true time with the Lord and allowing His living Word to saturate your soul with HIS TRUTHS! So that when we come across those incredibly mind-bending experiences of pain, grief, aggravation, or fear ~ we can call out to the Lord and ask Him to remind us of who HE is and who we are in Him! But we also have to be mindful of keeping scripture first and foremost in our mind. The only we can do that is to be reading the Word everyday! We may not always be able to think of the book a scripture is in, but when we need to reign in our negative thoughts, turning to God’s Living Word is the only way to redirect our thinking to that of what is positive and pleasing to the Lord.
Here’s just a few of those reminders to get you started:
Isaiah 55:8-9, ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Right here ~ God is reminding us that what He thinks about is totally different than what we think about. Meditating on His Words are the only way to make sure we are making at least an effort to think how the Lord thinks.
**Please know the context in which I’m using the word “meditate.” If you have a picture of someone sitting cross-legged on the ground with their hands in a funky position, chanting….STOP! That is NOT biblical meditation! Eastern mysticism & meditation tell you to “empty your mind.” That is the exact opposite of what God calls us to do when He tells us to meditate on His Word. Biblical meditation calls us to FILL our mind with scripture and to think on how we can be obedient to the Lord by weaving those scriptures in and through our daily life, to live a life honoring to Him. If you spend time emptying your mind, the enemy is waiting nearby to fill it with his version of the truth…and you will be led astray.**
I Corinthians 2:9-12, “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
Hebrews 4:11-13, “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-6, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
I hope these verses are encouraging to you ~ they are key verses in understanding how and why we need to keep our thoughts focused on the Lord and not on the circumstances or situations around us. Not to go blindly walking around saying, “The Lord will figure it out.” (He will by the way…but He wants to work with us!) Our Heavenly Father wants to join with us, His children, because He loves us!
When you are tempted to give into fear, sadness, or anxiety ~ make a choice to run to God’s Word. Speak out loud the truths of scripture. Give the devil his notice that he cannot control you. Praise the Lord that He is good and that He has called us to be His own! We are create in HIS image and He was happy and satisfied in His creation! You are royalty ~ all the negative think and feelings of guilt and condemnation are not who you are…so toss that all in the garbage! Rejoice that He calls you by name and He loves you so very much!!