John D. Barry
“Did I leave the burner on?” “Did I lock the door?” “I feel like I’m forgetting something.”
Forgetfulness is a syndrome we all experience at one time or another. Many of our forgetful moments end up being minor inconveniences. But there is one thing we should never forget: God and His instructions. As the Israelites prepared to enter the promised land, Moses offered them a string of commandments, including this: “Take care for yourself and watch your inner self closely, so that you do not forget the things that your eyes have seen, so that they do not slip from your mind all the days of your life” (Deut 4:9).
In watching ourselves closely, we remember what we’re meant to do and who we’re meant to be. And this isn’t just a value added to our lives and our relationship with God. Moses went on: “And you shall make [the commandments] known to your children and to your grandchildren” (Deut 4:9). Moses knew that God had chosen the Israelites to carry out His work in the world. He also knew that forgetting God’s commandments could jeopardize that work and even their very lives. He tells them to be certain about who they are—to keep themselves in line with God. It’s precisely this point that Paul emphasizes about God’s plan in 2 Cor 1:17–24: God is about the resounding “yes.” Yes, God has affirmed us. Yes, God has chosen us. Yes, we are the receivers of His salvation. We are called—not some of us, but all of us.
And in this we should rejoice, for we can claim, as the psalmist does, “I will confess concerning my transgressions to Yahweh, and you [Yahweh] took away the guilt of my sin” (Psa 32:5).
The best way to make your “yes” be a yes and your “no” be a no is to align yourself with God’s great calling upon your life. Commandments only get us so far; identity in Christ and the Spirit’s work in us will take us where we need to go.
What can you do to constantly remind yourself of God’s will, your identity in Him, and His work in your life?
Barry, J. D., & Van Noord, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.