Across many years of ministry, I have had multiple opportunities to counsel with people in crisis. People whose lives seem to be falling apart are desperate for the Lord’s help. Many of them are in dire circumstances because they have not sought the Lord’s guidance or have chosen to ignore His will. But, in the midst of turmoil, they want counsel and prayers in soliciting the Lord’s intervention on their behalf.
It is remarkable the number of times it seems that the Lord has heard their heart cries and offered divine assistance and relief. For a time, these folks usually express deep gratitude and understand that the Lord has been gracious to them. Promises are made, and they turn over new leaves in their relationship with the Lord. After the crisis has subsided, perspectives may change. The passing of time so often dims the magnitude of trouble and also causes people to minimize God’s help. It is not unusual for people that have been greatly helped to begin to believe that they have worked things out themselves. This is dangerous ground!
The scripture gives many strong warnings about forgetting God’s help and overestimating the role we play. May I share a few of these Biblical admonitions to illustrate the serious nature of these offenses to the Heavenly Father?
- “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
- “Be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:12).
- “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today;”… (Deuteronomy 8:10-11).
The result of such forgetfulness? “Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 8:13). To compound the offense the scripture says, “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘my power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17).
What can a person do to guard against this pervasive and insidious tendency? The Lord instructed Joshua (Joshua 4:4-7) when crossing the Jordan and entering the Promised Land to have men gather stones from the midst of the river and set them up as a memorial of what God had done. The pile of stones would serve as a powerful reminder to Israel and also provide occasion to share with their children of God’s divine help.
I encourage people who have been the recipient of God’s intersession to mark it with a verse(s) of scripture. Mark the verse. Note date, time, and occasion. Refer to it often. Then, rehearse God’s help in their mind and share His loving care with family and friends.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
~ Brother Roy