Summary: God’s request that we do not forget Him.
Forget Me Not
Back when I was a child I remember a Hallmark card or a flower shop commercial around Valentine’s Day with the slogan “Forget Me Not”. I cannot remember the specifics of the ads except that you should not forget the one you love on that special day and what better way to show that than with a nice card and flowers. This Wednesday would not be the day you’d want to forget that special someone in your life – just a hit for all the guys and gals here today. My message this morning is titled “Forget Me Not” and I am not talking about our personal relationships with each other, but our relationship with God. Just imagine in your mind that right now, at this moment in time, God is asking you not to forget Him. With that said, think about how many times you have forgotten something. Do you remember what you went through when you finally remembered what it was you forgot? Sometimes you were glad you remembered while there were other times when you were embarrassed that you had actually forgot. Then there were the times when we were children that we did some things that our parents firmly told us not to do. When we got caught we swore that we had forgotten that were not supposed to do whatever it was that we did. Sometimes we did forget but probably most of the time we knew better but we did it anyway hoping that we would not get caught. But the excuse of “forgetting” always sounded better rather it was true or not. This morning I want to talk with you about how our tendency to forget things on a spiritual level continues to get us into trouble.
Last week during my message on being blessed, I asked you two questions. The first question was “How many of you think you are blessed?” Almost everyone in the room raised their hand in agreement that they thought they were blessed. Then I asked this question: “How many of you know that you are blessed?” When I asked that question, again, almost every hand went up. I shared with you at that time that you cannot have it both ways. Either you think you are blessed or you know it. This same theory holds true for your understanding of God. A lot of people “think” they know God while others actually do “know” Him. Before I go any further, let me give you the definition of “think” and “know”. Webster’s dictionary defines “think” as “to form or have in the mind; to judge or consider; to have an opinion.” Webster also defines “know” as “to be well informed about; to have knowledge; to be aware of; to recognize or distinguish.” Can you see the difference between think and know? When you know something there is confidence, assurance based on some concrete evidence. When you “think” something, depending on the situation, there could be confidence, but there could also be a lot of doubt because all of the evidence may or may not be present. When you know, it is hard to be swayed. When you “think” you know, it represents an opportunity for your mind to be changed.
I. The Problem With Thinking You Know God
As I mentioned before, there are many people who “think” they know God. This opinion is based on things that they may have read – including the bible – as well as the opinions of others. For those individuals who “think” they know God, the problem that they face is when their “thinking” of God’s principles conflict with their personal desires. When you have learning without the commitment to retain the knowledge the learning can easily be forgotten for it was learned (or memorized) for a specific period of time, not for longevity. I have learned a lot of things in my life, but I remember those things that I committed to knowing which came through and brought me wisdom. For example, I took geometry in school and got a high “A”, not a barely “A”, but a high “A”. I passed all of the tests and completed all of the requirements for the course. I completed the “learning” for Geometry. I also took arithmetic and spelling. I passed those courses also, sometimes with an “A” sometimes not. Now here is my point, when I learned geometry, I learned it for the moment. I do not use a lot of that learning now so if I needed that knowledge today I would have to go and do research and “re-learn” it. When I learned how to spell and do arithmetic, I was committed to retaining that information because I would be using that learning for the rest of my life. These things that I committed to my heart and gained wisdom from I know today – they were not temporary learning for the moment. When your relationship with God is based on what you “think” you know there will always be a conflict when your personal desires conflict with what God says. Let me give you an example from the Old Testament. Turn to Genesis 3:1-13. This is the story of the fall of man: