One of my favorite Bible teachers once said a statement that has never left me. He said, “The regret of the past and the fear of the future are the twin enemies of the soul.”
He explained how the mistakes he had made in the past had crippled him and how the unpredictableness of the future had almost crushed his spirit. I totally related to this statement and the feelings he expressed from the pulpit.
He then went on to say, “...but there is a looking back to the past that is beneficial to the heart. It is the looking back at God’s faithfulness on the cross of Calvary that will comfort your hearts in the midst of the twin enemies of the soul.”
How is it that so much of my life is filled with forgetting the Unforgettable God? Distraction? Pride? Lust for the world? All of the above, I would say! As a young pastor, I’ve learned that taking my heart off the Lord is the first step in the wrong direction. Because of my fallen and sinful nature, it is so natural for me to drift away from the Living God. Remembering the Lord is important because it helps us to live the lives God has prepared for us. This life is a life of peace, joy, satisfaction, and overwhelming love. Who wouldn’t want that kind of life?
Because of my forgetfulness, I’ve purposed in my heart to regularly seek God through reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship, and Christian literature to remind myself of the Gospel. In remembering the Gospel, my focus is brought back to Jesus and His faithfulness. In one of the books I came upon this Puritan Prayer:
“Blessed Lord Jesus,
No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.
Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message, lived out on earth through infinite compassion, applying thy life to insult, injury, death, that I might be ransomed, freed.
Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way.
Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way,
Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit, for applying this way to my heart.
Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul, until its virtue diffuses every faculty;
Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.
Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;
Help me to give up every darling lust, to submit heart and life to its command, to have it in my will, controlling my affections, moulding my understanding; to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion, not departing from them in any instance, nor for any advantage in order to escape evil, inconvenience or danger.
Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;
Strip me of every pleasing pretense of righteousness by my own doings.
O gracious Redeemer,
I have neglected thee too long, often crucified thee, crucified thee afresh by my impenitence, put thee to open shame.
I thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long and for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.
O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds, that nothing my every draw me back from thee, my Lord, my Saviour.”
I love reading this prayer over and over because it clearly articulates the Unforgettable God and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Friends, don’t be distracted by the passing beauty of this world. Hold fast to the Gospel that is able to meet your every need. Focus your mind. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of Jesus. God is near to you. He is willing to help you remember Him.
Aaron serves in Murrieta, CA and is a pastor at Calvary Chapel Vista
Aaron Sabio’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aaron-sabio.html