Remembering Without Dwelling

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Remembering Without Dwelling

It has been a few months since I have posted a blog. Life has been stressful…a little too stressful. Satan has been at work keeping his chaos going to deter and distract me from keeping my focus on the things of God. But that doesn’t surprise me because that is what he does best. I have been reading the posts on this topic of remembering and the Holy Spirit has used the words of my co-writers to bring me back to a place of remembering.

Remembering the covenant God made with me at my baptism, remembering my past before I was a follower of Christ, remembering my life since I proclaimed it as a student of the Lord,  remembering how God brought and delivered me from “my life” to “His life”, remembering the promise I made to God dedicating my life to Him in return, and remembering why God gave me the opportunity to share all of this with the world through the gift of writing He has given me.

In order to gain God’s true perspective on our lives we have to be willing to look back and remember the things of the past, being careful not to dwell there.

Remembering our past is important so that we learn from it. But dwelling on it is not healthy. We all have past hurts, habits, and hang-ups that have shaped us into the person we are today. Dwelling on our past ultimately leads us to making unhealthy and unwise comparisons of our past history and our present reality. But nonetheless, we are human, and humans have a tendency to stay stuck in past events which keeps them from propelling forward. It is so much easier to look back and see God’s provisions and blessings rather than see Him at work in our present situations.

Our past experiences hold immense power within us. The devil knows this and all too often uses our past to keep us from the purpose God created us for. This is what he has been trying to do to me over the past 9 months…keeping me so stressed that I have failed to see God’s perspective in my present circumstances.

God tells us in many places in the Bible about remembering. This one has brought me to this place of reflection, Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, King Solomon’s wisdom for life.

” A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—  so the living should take this to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
A wise person thinks a lot about death,while a fool thinks only about having a good time. Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless. Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life. 

Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.”

I thank God that He works in my life constantly. I attended the recent Women’s Vineyard Via de Cristo weekend where I gave a talk on piety. God knew what He was doing when He laid it on the heart of our retreat leader to ask me to write it. I had written other talks before but this one was different. The devil’s fiery darts were flying all over the place…trying to knock me off balance because He knew that this message was powerful. It was not only powerful to my co-team and the first time attenders but so overwhelmingly powerful for me to write it. It helped me to write about my life before God, and now after I made the commitment to follow the Lord.

In a previous blog post Beth Ann told us about a saying she has on the wall in her house and it is one that I quote a lot when ministering to others… life is not about wading through the storms but learning to dance in the rain. So true when we are stuck in the past and unable to propel ourselves forward.

I leave you with one final thought from scripture that I cling to and God reminded me of it when writing my talk on piety… why he gave me the gift of words…

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

God Loves You And So Do I

Leslie

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About livingwaterdesigns

I have been married to my high school sweetheart and pastor husband, George, for almost 23 years. We are currently serving St. John's Lutheran Church in Newark, Ohio which is a part of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations. We were both born and raised in Maryland and raised two beautiful daughters there too. We are both active in the Vineyard Via de Cristo chapter in Maryland. I have published writings on this blog, The Lutheran Ambassador, and the AFLC bulletin devotionals. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I pray that my writings glorify Him and inspire others along their journey of faith!

One response

  1. It’s so good to see you posting again, Leslie. When the devil whispers to us, we need to remember that we are God’s workmanship!

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