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Christian amnesia: forgetting yesterday by freaking out today

Posted: Friday, March 04, 2011

Swaying with the crest of each wave, no land in sight and a light blinking from the left lapel of an emergency flotation device Bourne's lifeless body conforms to the sea's shaping hands. Upon being saved from eminent death, Jason Bourne cannot recall previous events that led to his present situation. Most of you might recognize this scene as the opening frame to the first "Bourne Identity" movie. The condition that Jason Bourne suffers from is amnesia a condition all too familiar with Christians today.

My intent is not to make light of a serious condition but to simply challenge your faith. All too often, as Christians, we frequently "forget" about God's provision, mercy and grace in our lives. Events that shape our past frequently become forgotten in the face of present tribulations. Mark 8 illustrates this point clearly. The passage details Jesus feeding four thousand men with seven loaves of bread and a few fish leaving seven large baskets of "leftovers." Immediately following, in the same chapter, Jesus and the twelve disciples are traveling by boat to their next destination. While en route they, the twelve disciples, were arguing over who forgot to bring food.

Jesus immediately refocuses their argument by recounting past events and miracles from previous days. Jesus depicts, in particular, the miracle of feeding the 4,000 men described a few lines earlier. Mark 8:20 narrates, "And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?" "Seven," they said. "Don't you understand yet?" he asked them. The twelve disciples, in Mark 8, illustrate an ongoing battle, as Christians, we fight today; faith that God's provision, mercy and grace are not just for yesterday, but, today and tomorrow.

However, the questions remains how do I keep myself from getting "amnesia?" First, keep the communication between you and God open. Many Christians believe that formal prayer (at church or in a prayer group) is the only way God hears your voice. In reality He's always listening; whether you're in your car, at the gym or watching an extremely boring, yet you paid $9.50 so you're going to stay till the bitter end, movie he always has an ear to listen.

Second, it's a great idea to keep a prayer journal. It serves as a great reminder of His work in your life. Writing down miracles, dreams and promises of God can help neutralize those times of deep uncertainty and confusion of God's will for your life.

Finally, share your testimony. Recounting God's provision, mercy, and grace will keep you focused on Him and humbled by Him.

Rediscovering the past paves the way for discovery of the future.

Scott Levesque is pastor at Kenai New Life, www.kenainewlife.org.



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