“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Remember & Forget, by Randall D. Kittle
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Do you ever find yourself feeling like you’re trapped in a time loop, as if you’re reliving the same day over and over again? It’s all too easy to find our lives becoming a steady grind of waking up at the same time, going through the same morning routine, eating the same breakfast, and then driving in the same car to the same workplace. The sameness of most people’s lives is one of the reasons extreme sports, adventure vacations, and the like are so popular. Americans often search for something to make their lives interesting and exciting.

Although they may not openly admit it, that is also how many believers feel about their spiritual journey as well. Their spiritual lives seem to be stuck in a rut and going nowhere. They are always the same, with few surprises and fewer results. As I was asking the Lord about how the Church can get out of this rut of stale church-life and get back to the grand adventure of exploring the depths of our unfathomable God and advancing His kingdom on the earth, the Lord told me,
“Make certain you tell them to remember to forget, but new forget to remember,” and then He showed me three things we need to remember and one thing it is important we forget.


#1 – Remember God
The first we need to remember is God. A. W. Tozer once said, “The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search and struggle throughout his lifetime. He does not really know what he is doing here. He does not know where he is going. The sad commentary is that everything he is doing is being done on borrowed time, borrowed money and borrowed strength — and he already knows that in the end he will surely die!” This is the plain truth about the condition of the average person in our society. Tozer concludes that this is the bewildered confession of many because “somewhere along the way” they have forgotten about God.

We live in a society that has forgotten about God. Many Americans have forgotten the strong Christian foundation from which this country was birthed. They also fail to remember the roots of faith their families possessed just a generation or two ago. The sad truth is that while much of our society has forgotten about God, to a lesser extent so has the much of the church. So many American churches are filled with people who hear inspiring messages on living a better, more productive, life. They might even be busy doing outreach: running shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, etc. Yet, no matter how successful, popular, or caring they may be, they can do nothing to advance the kingdom of God without His presence. Without God, we are not able to do anything useful for eternal.

Too many believers have lives where Jesus is merely a nice add-on. He is “the plus that makes a difference.” But God doesn’t want to be “the plus” in your life; He wants to take center stage in your life. He desires to be the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning, the one who comes to mind when your thoughts wander, and the last one you remember as you fall asleep. God wants to be the center of your life every day, from this day forward: the One you choose to spend your time, energy, and emotions on first and foremost.

First Things First
We need to remember to put first things first. What did Jesus say was the first and Great Commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). We need to love God with all our body, soul, and spirit — all that is within us! God’s presence, God’s ways, and God’s will need to be our prime directive.

Jesus Christ is the center-point for all time and eternity. Our calendar is marked by His birth and all creation looks longingly for His return! God also wants our lives to truly be centered on Him. Everything in your life shouldn’t just
involve Jesus, it should revolve around Him! My friends, Jesus Christ is either Lord of all of your life, or He is not really your Lord at all!

This is what the kingdom of God is all about … God! If we truly had Christ first in our lives at all times, we would go out from our services into our neighborhoods, schools, and jobs radiating the Lord. Our cities would be changed — they would be enlightened and become ignited.

This call to the centrality of Christ, of putting God first in our lives, is the message behind the story of the rich, young ruler. In this story found in Matthew 19, a young man came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. After the man reassured the Lord that he had faithfully fulfilled the commandments Jesus listed (verses 18-19, which reflect the fifth through tenth commandments), he pressed further
“All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20). I believe Jesus smiled as He gave this young seeker the invitation, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21). Jesus’ response wasn’t about taking away what the rich, young ruler had; it was about making certain God was first. God didn’t want his money — He wanted his heart. How sad this young man chose to go away without attaining what he said he sought after. He was willing to fulfill all the other commandments, except for the most important one … the first. “I am the Lord your God … You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2–3). As long as he could pursue God and have the success and prestige he’d grown accustomed to, he wanted more of God. But the young man was unwilling to make the Lord the very center of his life. Success and all its trappings had become an idol he couldn’t give up, and so, “he went away sorrowful” (Matthew 19:22).

I hope we will learn a lesson from the rich, young ruler — God must be chosen above
everything else. Nothing but the Lord must be allowed to take preeminence in our lives. If we do choose Him above all else, we may miss out on some of the passing pleasures of this world, but we will never lack His presence, His peace, and His protection.

#2 – Remember Who You Are
Not only do we need to remember God and put Him first and foremost in our lives, we need to remember who we are. In other words, we need to remember the purpose of our lives.

There is a cry in every person’s heart, “Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here?” That is why there was such popularity of the book,
The Purpose Driven Life, and why many churches who did the “40-Days of Purpose” small groups had great results.

But it doesn’t take 40 days to figure out our purpose. We can know the purpose of anything by seeing how it was created. Even if you had never seen a wheelbarrow, it wouldn’t take long inspecting its wheel, tray, and handles to know it was designed to help move things. And examining a piano, observing the keys and opening the lid to find the hammers and the piano string, would tell you quickly that it was crafted to make music. Similarly, if we will look at how we were created, we’ll discover our purpose.

So, how were you and I created? It tells us in Genesis 1:26–27.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” We learn two very important things from this portion of Scripture. First, God is the Creator. According to God, we didn’t just evolve. We were “made” or “created” by Him. But He also tells us four times in these two verses how we were created — we were created in God’s image or likeness. You and I were made like God. Nothing else in all the universe was specifically made in His “likeness.” This one truth explains one of the nagging questions man asks of God, “What is man, that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him?” (Job 7:17). God has His heart set upon us because He made us like Himself … for Himself. We are the most special part of all creation, and God’s heart is set upon us and His thoughts are always mindful of us!

Why is it so important that we were made in God’s likeness? Let me answer this question by telling you the story of my son Ben’s pet goldfish … Goldie. Goldie was probably the world’s greatest goldfish (at least I thought so). Whenever I would come home from work and walk into the house Goldie would greet me by swimming around the bowl excitedly. Later, after she’d got to know me a little better, she would actually swim up to the top of the water and throw kisses at me. Goldie and I seemed to have developed quite a special relationship. Now, I want to assure you that although Goldie and I had a close relationship (far closer than I’ve ever had with any other fish), my wife, Gini, and I have a far closer relationship. After 38 years of marriage, you would certainly hope so. Goldie and I could never have a relationship a fraction as close as Gini and I because she was a goldfish. I could talk to her, but I could never have a conversation with her and really share my heart. Goldie could only relate to me at certain levels, but because Gini and I are both similar (meaning people), we can relate to each other in much deeper, more personal ways.

Father God made us like Himself so that He could have a deep, personal relationship with us. You were not created for religion. You were created for relationship with your loving God! And this is not the relationship of merely being a servant or messenger or worshipper. All these things should flow out of our relationship with God, but the angels also can do those things. We were made for a personal relationship with the living God. God has always had a fathering heart, and we were created in the image of our Father so we could be His family.

That is why it is so important that first things are first — that our relationship with Him is our highest priority — for this is the very purpose for which we were created. We were created by a loving God who wanted a family He could share His life and love with! You and I are children of the Most High God made for relationship with Him. If we will remember that, we won’t have much trouble living above the fray of this tattered and decaying world.

#3 – Forget the Lies of the Enemy
While you need to remember your glorious God and remember you are part of His family, there is also something you need to forget. You need to forget the lies and accusations of the enemy. You need to forget the enemy has told you to shut up … because you’re not effective anyway. Forget the enemy’s told you you’re finished, that anything you do isn’t useful for building the kingdom of God. You need to stop listening to the voices of those telling you that your fall was too bad and your failures too complete to ever be used by the Lord. You need to forget those saying the future’s dark, the outlook’s bleak, and there’s no hope. Forget those telling you to throw in the towel because you can’t make a difference anyway!

The enemy will repeatedly bring accusations against us, hoping to scare us away from walking out the faith the Lord has placed within us. Any time we decide to passionately pursue God or rise up to do something to advance His kingdom, the enemy begins to speak of our inadequacy, our limitations, and our weaknesses. Stop listening to him!

The Dream Snatcher
A while back, I had a prophetic dream in which I saw the whole region where I live from above. As I looked across this expanse, I could see a great number of believers scattered about … all of them sleeping. Above each person’s head, a golden object was glowing. I saw golden hearts and arrows, music and words and much, much more — a vast selection of various blessings from God just waiting to be released. I knew instantly that they were spiritual dreams… things God had promised and put in His children’s hearts, and for which now they hoped, longed, and waited. I couldn’t help but marvel, “Look at all the things in the hearts of the children of God!”

Then I saw a dark hand reach into the dream and take a dreamcatcher off a wall in the distance. As it was waved in the air its appearance transformed into a net with a handle, and this net started gathering up all of the golden dreams that glowed above God’s children. As they were removed, the heavens, which had glowed from the light produced by all the promises of God’s children, began to dim and become dark.

That is what the enemy wants to do to the Church. He is the dream snatcher. The enemy desires to snatch your dreams, your hopes, and your goals because he wants to steal your destiny and cause your future to look dark! If the enemy can’t stop you from going to eternity with the Lord, he wants to steal your destiny on this earth.

Destiny is a very powerful word. According to a university study, just hearing the word “destiny” causes numerous areas of the brain to light up with stimulation, causing a greater response than almost any other word! It’s as if God has wired us to sense the importance of our destiny.

You have a destiny. We know from the book of Jeremiah that God has plans for you and me!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has a hoped-filled future plan for each of us that He treasures in His heart. You are not an unfinished novel. Hebrews 12:2 tells us Jesus is both “... the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” The prophet Isaiah declared that God knows “... the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). The very One who created you already knows how your story goes! God knows your destiny.

We not only have a purpose — “What we were created for … relationship with God,” each of us has a unique destiny — “What was created for us to do.” To fulfill the destiny God has for us, we need to complete the “pre-ordained works” God created for us to do!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Before the world began, God knew you and loved you and He created works for you to do. It was as if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had a holy huddle in heaven and, marveling at the gifts, talents, skills and abilities they had placed within you, created just the right “works” for you to do. Why? Not because they need our help. It is because God wants His children to fully become the men and women of God He created them to be.

Just as God has all glory, majesty, dominion, and power, we, as His children, were created to take dominion on the earth (see Genesis 1:26). We do this when we walk out the good works He has
“prepared beforehand” for us to do. God’s not only called us to do this, He expects us to be excited and enthusiastic about them. “Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).

It is as we walk out these “pre-ordained works” that we start to become the overcomers, the victors, the spiritual champions God created us to be and lay hold of the specific destinies He has for us! In stories like Gideon and David, they didn’t necessarily have a great vision of what they would become. They simply walked the walk of faith step-by-step and in doing
what God called them to, they became who He created them to be! They came into their destiny!

The Hindrance of History
This is why it’s so important for us to forget the belittling and discouraging voice of the enemy. Forgetting the accusations of the enemy helps remove the hindrances the enemy puts before us. The first hindrance the enemy uses to deter us fulfilling our destiny is our past history. Never forget that man looks at you through your history — what you’ve done … your falls and failures, but God looks at you through your destiny — what He created for you to do.

When people look at you, they tend to describe you by listing what you’ve done — both good and bad. (Most people tend to include a generous portion of your weaknesses and failures in these lists.) People see you like this: “David is Jesse’s youngest son, the immature one with the ruddy complexion. He’s the one who tends the sheep and plays the harp quite well. I think he even may have written a few of his own songs.” But even when David was young, God saw him like this: “David is a man after my own heart. One who defeats the giant Goliath, becomes king of Israel, and teaches generations how to have a heart to worship me.” God sees us as already having accomplished the things He has created for us to do. That is why He could call Gideon a
“mighty man of valor” when he was still cowering in a hole in the ground (see Judges 6:11–12). Remember, God sees the beginning from the end and He knows whom He created you to be. God is speaking to our hearts, never let the echoes from the past steal the promises of your future.

Frozen was a really fun Disney movie, but it shouldn’t be the state of the Church! Don’t be frozen by your past; God’s not done with you. You need to remember the amazing transforming power of God is working on your behalf. Don’t forget that “Peter the Denier” became Peter the “rock of the Church” who preached thousands of people into the kingdom of God with his bold messages. It is believed that “Thomas the Doubter” went eastward from Jerusalem and evangelized perhaps as far as India. And, remember that “Saul the Persecutor” became Paul the apostolic firebrand used to spread the Church around the Mediterranean and authored most of the New Testament.

Circumstantial Evidence
The second hindrance to coming into your destiny is the situation in which you find yourself. Never forget; the circumstances may tell you there is no way forward, but God has a better plan, a better way — a way to break through. Your situation doesn’t determine your destiny. God’s divine design for your destiny was already set for you before the world began.

Looking again at Gideon, his situation was one of hiding in a hole in the ground with almost no food. He had far more fear than courage, and the odds were stacked heavily against him. When God called Gideon to be the champion who set His people free, it didn’t change the situation and it didn’t change who Gideon had been up to that time. But God knew Gideon could do this because He created this for him to do. Once Gideon believed that God had called him to accomplish it, nothing could stop him from walking into his destiny.

#4 – Remember the Greatness of God
What God calls us to do is often far beyond what we believe we can accomplish. Good! Then it can only happen supernaturally as we walk with God. When the circumstances seem dead-set against us and we realize we’re not capable of accomplishing what God has called us to, we will come to the end of our abilities and have to look to God for the breakthrough. The only way we will really be able to forget the size of the circumstances set against us is to remember the size of our God. God is BIG … and every obstacle we face is tiny in comparison.

The great adventure of faith requires us to come to the end of our abilities and allow God to work through us. It is not you and I who really advance the kingdom of God. It is only when our great God steps in that His kingdom is truly advanced and His name is glorified. We must say yes to being used of God,
but God must do the work for it to truly be accomplished. We may not know the answer, but God is all-knowing. We may be too weak to win the victory, but God is all-powerful. We may not have the authority, but God has all dominion and majesty.

But God
The phrase “but God” appears in various forms hundreds of times in the Word of God. Here are just a few examples:


• Genesis 50:20 —
“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.” God can take the schemes of the enemy and cause them to bless you and be used to give Him glory.

• Psalm 49:14–15 —
“Their beauty shall be consumed in the grave … But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” Others’ health may fail prematurely, but God, the One who conquered hell, death and the grave is able to give you the full measure of your days.

• Psalm 73:26 —
“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” When you are called to something far beyond your comfort zone, far beyond your abilities, God is able to strengthen you so you will be able to complete the task.

• Ephesians 2:4–5 —
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses.” Even if you fall again into sin, God is able and willing to forgive you, restore you, and walk with you into your future.

No person, no demon from hell can steal your spiritual destiny because God is for you. The only one who can stop you is
you! Maybe you have made a huge blunder or fallen so hard in sin that you think you’re unusable. Remember, Jesus is the One who touched the lepers — the “untouchables” of society. He not only touched them, He healed them and used them to build His kingdom! Our God is the god of the second chances. He uses those the world would discard to accomplish things they never could on their own because He longs to be glorified as the one who restores the broken and does great things in and through their lives.

Nothing is wasted in the kingdom of God. God can use our falls and failures to train us how to help others. Even lessons learned the hard way are lessons learned. Captain Smith was chosen to be the captain of the Titanic because he had never had an accident in his entire career. He seemed to be the perfect choice for the captain of lines new flagship. While it may have sounded like a good idea, it also meant Captain Smith was one of the few captains with no experience handling any major emergency at sea. How did that work out? In the hands of the living God, our miscues may be the training ground that prepares us to keep calm when others panic and give us insights on how to help others in the days ahead.

Carpe Annus
As I was praying one morning, I heard the Holy Spirit urgently and repeatedly speak to me one Latin phrase over and over: “Carpe annus!” This would be translated “seize the year.” The Latin word “carpe,” often translated “seize,” was also used in the military. There it meant, “do whatever it takes to gain control of and hold something.” Picture a sergeant in a World War II movie telling his squad of soldiers to take and hold a bridge … at all cost. God is calling us to seize or lay hold of this year, at all cost! This is not merely a time to “carpe diem” … to “seize the day.” This a year for choosing to seize every day … of laying hold of each day for God’s glory!

This year, God wants to make certain you “remember to forget, but never forget to remember” certain things. You must remember to put God first, removing any idol that would raise itself up against Him. You also need to remember your primary purpose is relationship with God. You should spend your time and energy pursuing Him above everything else. It is also important to forget the lies and accusations of the enemy. Neither your past nor today’s circumstances are insurmountable for God. Remember, your destiny awaits you … God created things for you to do to advance His Kingdom. And finally, you must remember to seize this year. Don’t let another year slip through your fingers like sand. Make every moment mean something; make every “next time” or “maybe later” become “no, this time … right now!” Choose this day to live a life that leaves no room for regret, because you have decided to stop listening to the voice of the enemy, and chosen to pursue the Lord and His kingdom with all that is within you. Amen.


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