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How Remembering Can Change Everything In Your Life

audio devotional

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“Such reminiscence can be healthier than you think. Despite nostalgia’s bittersweet rap and the oft-heard advice to live in the moment, studies suggest that the occasional detour down memory lane can give your spirits a significant lift.

Thinking of good memories for just 20 minutes a day can make people more cheerful than they were the week before, and happier than if they think of their current lives, report researchers from Loyola University.”

A secular article published in Psychology Today notes what God already knows to be true. He asks us to remember for a reason. Remembering who God is reminds us that no matter what we face, we have a faithful God who will guide us through it.

If I don’t remember, I will forget. Remember is an action verb. It is something we actively do.

There are many things I want to forget. Like two weeks ago, which was disastrous for me because I allowed the enemy to cover me with condemnation for every failure. What I wanted to forget, the enemy made sure I remembered.

In my kickboxing class last weekend, the instructor told us to destroy the prior week in our workout. I worked out so hard, I did a little number on my back. I desperately wanted to destroy the previous week.

God kept whispering for me to remember.

I remembered a post I wrote about 5 years ago titled How to Remember So We Can Forget.

If you haven’t read it, it’s a quick read on the power of remembering.

“In an instant we were all taken back to a time of beloved, treasured memories. Going back took us out of the current moment, which was filled with disagreement and strife. We were transported to a time of encouragement and were reminded of how much we loved each other. The boys never finished their argument that day. Remembering had changed their perspective.

Sometimes remembering can help us forget. Remembering the past can help us forget the discomfort of the present.”

I’m studying the book of Matthew this year through Community Bible Study. My homework brought me to this passage:

Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected?  Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected?'”

Matthew 16:8-10

Don’t you remember? Jesus asks.

The disciples were quick to forget and fall into worry about the problem in front of them. I do the same thing. Jesus instructed them to look back. Looking back will cause us to move forward with confidence if we are careful what we look back on.

Why don’t I remember? Because I’ve not made it a habit or a discipline. Instead I’ve allowed anxiety and fear to create habits.

Yet even if I stopped for 30 seconds to remember who He is, everything changes. Instantly.

But do we know accurately who He is?

What we remember is critical.

Who we remember is even more critical.

I’ve created an audio devotional experience titled Illuminate – Seeing God by the light of His Word in order to help us create the habit of remembering who God is. Illuminate is 14 days of looking at the question “Who is God? Really?”

Illuminate takes us back to the beginning. It doesn’t attempt to define God or explain God. It simply turns our attention to our Creator in order that our affections follow. My prayer is that God will take you deeper into your walk with Him. That you will see Him through refreshed eyes and a revived heart.

Here’s how Illuminate will work. It will release here on the blog (soonish), so if you aren’t signed up to receive email updates, you can do that here. After purchasing, you will receive one email each day for 14 days. 7 days will focus on the character and nature of God, while 7 days will be reflective, taking us straight into scripture and a time of prayer. In the days of reflection, I will guide you through questions you can ponder in your heart.

 

What others are saying about Illuminate


“Renee Robinson has a gift for seeing the invisible. Passionate about God and Scripture, Renee notices the light in the darkness and points our attention to it. In Illuminate, a 14-day study of short meditations, readers and listeners find hopeful reminders of who God is and how to find Him in our busy, overwhelmed lives. With calming reassurance this study helps us see current events in light of eternal promises – and how God can be trusted with it all.”

Kari Kampakis, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?


“We live in a world of hurry that seldom stops to consider the glory and majesty of God.  Illuminate will help you get still, take a deep breath, and set your mind on God.  If you want to be less rushed and more peace filled, this is a beautiful resource to enjoy.”

 

The overwhelming moments of God hidden in the small

worry

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There are moments where God completely overwhelms me. Times breathing is difficult, words are inadequate. These moments catch me by surprise. I’m surprised by my surprise. When will I cease to be amazed that God can and will do whatever He pleases? That God delights to surprise and amaze? That He is uncontainable, unfathomable?

Sunday I sat on the 3rd row of a sanctuary in Georgia and watched my 60-year-old dad baptized. A man who would be considered a “good man” in the eyes of most. Not perfect, but good. A man who believed in God, believed Jesus was the son of God, and for 60 years believed and hoped that was enough to spend eternity in Heaven. I shared his story here in the fall. When his eyes were opened, and he turned to the One who’s been pursuing him all these years, gave his heart and life, and now stands a changed man, not in his power but in the power of the cross, he realized believing in God, going to church, being good, none of those were important. It was a true, genuine, heart changing, saving relationship with his Savior.

Overwhelmed doesn’t describe what I felt. I have no words. 14 years I’ve prayed for this.

Only God. Only God can take the heart of a man who has built a decent life and reveal his need for a Savior. Only God can open the eyes and heart. We must never stop praying for the ones we love to have their eyes opened.

Overwhelmed.

If we opened our eyes minute by minute, we would spend our lives overwhelmed, shaken. He never stops working. He never stops amazing. Sometimes God’s biggest moments are disguised as small gifts.

Last week we had 3 days off from school. I’m behind in every way with writing projects. The next few weeks are busy and will put me further behind. Therefore, snow is the last thing I wanted yesterday given the fact I will spend 2 days this week mostly at school with my kids and more snow is predicted. I needed two solid days to work. But God gave me what I needed more than what I wanted. Only God.

I tiptoed down the stairs carefully selecting which parts of the wood to place my weight on so as not to accidentally wake a soul in my house. Coffee brewing, fire burning, I wrapped in a blanket, grabbed my Bible and journal, and sat with the Lord.

An hour later, I felt refreshed and ready to see my kids out the door and work hard for the next 6 hours to try to accomplish about 15 hours worth of work. I began up the stairs when I noticed what looked like white outside. This couldn’t be since I looked when I walked down the stairs just to be sure. It happened. In one hour, a light blanket of snow descended. In those moments, I wondered if I should laugh or cry. So much for writing, so much for projects barely started. So much for anything other than more days inside. So much for MY plans.

God had a plan. God always has a plan. His plans are always better than mine.

I put on my excited face, snuck into Jacob’s room, and delivered the news every child dreams of. No school, you can go back to sleep!

I tiptoed downstairs and settled back into the Lord. Minutes later, Jacob rounded the corner, Bible in hand, a tiny smirk on his face. “Can I join you?”

Only God.

God gives us what we need despite what we want then changes our wants to match our needs. I needed time with Jacob, but I didn’t want a snow day on this day. God gave me what I needed in a way I didn’t want and changed my heart in an instant to want what God wants for me.

Jacob opened up his Bible and shared with me his favorite passage. “Mom, in the entire Bible, this is the one I always go back to. I don’t know why. But it’s the one I find myself going to frequently.”

“Only God, honey. Only God. Only He can direct us in ways we can’t understand. He knows you better than you know yourself. He is always working.”

He opened his Bible to Matthew 6:25-34. And He read to me.

I sat overwhelmed. A little moment no less overwhelming than watching my 60-year-old dad baptized, watching my 11-year-old son discovering how very intricate and personal is His God. Only God.

Not only that, but God knew that verse, which has become much too familiar to me, needed to find a spot in my heart that very minute. Because if I’m honest, it was worry that caused my plans to become more important than God’s plans. Only God.

My eyes opened to see God that morning. I wanted to see His constant overwhelming Presence. Moment after moment, He showed up. In the little ways. Andrew, always first to rise, slept 2 extra hours, giving me extended time with the older boys. A gift. I had conversations with Jacob and Zachary about the awesomeness of God we wouldn’t have had if we’d been on our way to school. A gift. Moments unfolded throughout the day, tiny moments, that caused my overwhelmed soul to thank God for always allowing His plans to prevail.

He is as overwhelming in the small moments as He is in the big. We sometimes don’t recognize His hand at work in the small moments. But the small moments are sometimes the greatest gifts we receive.

I want to love God more. I want to have a love that is careless and carefree.

Days like yesterday make me love Him more. When I see Him, I can’t help but love Him. I just need eyes to see Him in every.single.moment.

Lord, let me not be so busy, I fail to see the small moments meant as gifts to overwhelm my soul. Never let your overwhelming spirit go unnoticed by me, turn me to you, and hold me right there, eyes on you. For I know when my eyes remain on you, I fall madly in love. 

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