Summary: Part one of living in the land of WERE.
Painting God’s Masterpiece Part 3
Living In The Land of WERE
After God led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses gave them some instructions about remembering what God had done. In Deuteronomy 4:9 and 14 Moses told the people the following: “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons…….The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.” Moses told the adults to remember what they had seen and what they had been taught. He told them to also teach their children about what God had done for them in delivering them out of Egypt. Why did Moses want them to do this? So that when they got into the Promised Land, they would continue to walk with the Lord. Moses knew that should they ever forget what God had done for them they would turn their backs on Him. We will see shortly that they had a very short memory and every time that faced a challenge they forgot what God had already done for them.
This is part 3 of my series “Painting God’s Masterpiece”. In this message I want to focus your attention on the subtitle “Living in the land of WERE.” Living in the land of WERE is having a mindset focused on the past - the hurt, failures and trials to the point of not being able to see what God is doing in your life. When Moses told the people to remember what they had seen – he was telling them to remember the image. Keep before their eyes how God had delivered them. He was giving them something to see – an image to remember – so that when they arrived in the Promised Land they would have confidence in all that God would do on their behalf because He had done it before. He wanted that picture, that image of God’s deliverance firmly painted in their minds and the minds of their children. Remember, the image that we see and focus on is the image we will try to achieve. My message this morning and next week will focus on WERE and what happens when we refuse to change the image we are focusing on. By not changing the image, we continue to live in and fulfill the images of our past. This is what I will be referring to as living in the land of WERE. Have you ever heard someone say “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks” or that “someone is stuck in their ways”? This is living in the land of WERE. Living in WERE is where our minds are so focused on what happened to us in the past that we cannot process the visual image of where God is taking us today. Not only can we not process the present day image, but we also cannot latch hold on what He will be doing for us tomorrow. Through the message I want you to consider leaving the land of WERE and moving to the land of “WHAT SHALL BE.”
I. Living In WERE
Before I go deeper into the message, I need to give you a visual to ensure that we all understand what it means to live in WERE. People often use the phrase that something has “escaped my mind” when they have forgotten something. Sometimes when something is forgotten it is gone for good – like a thought, while other things are just forgotten temporarily until something triggers the memory. In both cases what was once known is now gone, whether permanently or temporarily, and while you cannot remember what you forgot, you cannot use the information. Think about baking a cake from memory. You can only accomplish the task as long as you can remember what steps need to be taken. If you cannot remember, everything stops until you can get the information. If we think about this spiritually, when we forget what God has done for us in the past, we cannot see what He is doing for in the present or the future. If we do not see the images of the victories of the past, we cannot visualize new images of present and future victories because new images are based on previous one. If you always remember what God has done for you it is very easy to see Him doing more in the future. In order to bring an image into reality, you must see it and when you visualize it, you must believe in it. This works to our good as well as to our detriment. The past that I am talking about this morning I will call WERE. The future that I will be referencing I will call WHAT SHALL BE. I want you to think of WERE with the following in mind: Where Every Remembrance Escapes. Living in WERE is where the memories of what God has done escapes us which leads to our not being able to get a new image of what is coming. Let’s examine a few examples of some individuals living in WERE and how it affected what God was able to do in their lives.