God's Character: What He is Really Like

Chapter 58 - Lest we Forget

Today is a special day. It's called Memorial Day. When God created us He took part of Himself and He placed it within us. Many of the characteristics of our lives are parts of God that He has given. And though depraved in man's fall and departure from God, those things are still there. To those that may feel, that wonder is there really a God, does he really care? All you have to do is to look inside and know that there are the fingerprints of God. There is evidence that the eternal God has taken part of Himself and placed it in you when He created us in His own image. That little part that I'm speaking about now is called memory. Memory literally was planned and drawn into the framework of our life by God Himself. And this memory, because it's a part of God is a powerful force within us both for good and for bad.


Now there may be some of you this morning who are troubled by bad memories. You may not even realize just what the problem is but memories that have been buried down inside from tears that have been unshed, from wrongs that have never been satisfied in your mind. From hurts that you could not quite understand. But they've gone down into the innermost parts of our being and they act as a many pointed dart of some type within us that hurts us. Psychiatrists and psychologists will tell you that oftentimes the things that bring about depression and problems are things you seemingly have forgotten with your conscious mind but your being, all the rest of you has not forgotten and it creates that pressure and weight upon you. They have stated that things that happen as small children that create these hurts live to haunt people in later years. There placed in an area of memory that may not be expressed in the conscious mind but is felt throughout a person's body.


I realize as people come to me for deliverance from depression and other weights, God has allowed me to have a discernment and in that discernment I can see sharp pointed darts that hurt and injure and trouble that person. And those memories are constantly, some that they can remember, some that they can't remember are giving them trouble and I cry out to the Lord and many of you have heard me cry out to the Lord and say, "God today by the rush of your life will you now blunt these points and cause these memories that hurt to lose their power to hurt" and God comes through. And their memories are still there but they've risen above them and they have been insolated so their memories can no longer hurt them. Praise God. And there's a freedom.


I know that many, many of you can witness of this fact that are here today, God has delivered you and he has healed memories that have been afflicting. Hallelujah. I believe right now in this service before we go any farther we're going to ask God to heal some memories in this place today. I feel prompted of the Lord to do this. And you know what? He's going to do it. When I pray for you, the moment I ask for Him to remove that burden I want you to lift both hands. "Father you asked me to do this today because you love people and you want to set them free. You're going to remove burdens and the hurt and the sting of things long since past." Praise God. "For you are here, you're here and we love you for it. Jesus as you look at each heart your spirit is reading every life and you know those deep things within." Those words seem so empty and adequate to express our feelings; the Spirit of the Lord is taking that groan from within and is rearranging and bringing it into a full prayer in the ears of the almighty God.


"Dear Lord in Jesus name we ask that by the flow of your life that these memories will lose their power to hurt. And right now as your people lift these burdens up to you I pray that there will be a warm glow of holy oil as it flows over them. May this be the moment that it happens where new life, new hope begins." Lift those hands, everybody up here. Let that holy oil fill all through you. God did this for a reason today because He's dulling some memories that are not going to hurt you but He's putting another memory in your heart. A memory of His voice saying I have taken it from you. And when the enemy comes God wants you to remember what you heard this morning. That the voice of God saying I took it from you. Hallelujah. He tells us there are some things that He wants us to forget and there are some things that He wants us to remember.


I'm going to read from Isaiah 49:13-16. We mentioned that the memory that you have comes from God. And it's so beautiful that in God's memory those things that are important to you are there, they are important to Him. And those times when it seemed like nobody knew, nobody understood, everybody forgot, nobody remembered, God was there and He remembered. Beginning with verse 13 and there's reason for joy all over the universe because of this. "Sing oh heavens and be joyful oh earth and break forth into singing oh mountains. For the Lord has comforted His people. And will have mercy upon His afflicted. But Zion said the Lord has forsaken me and the Lord has forgotten me."


We need to keep our facts and our opinions separated. It reminds me when Edison's great factory burned to the ground. It had never opened for business. It was a great laboratory. It had not been opened even one day and that night it burned to the ground. All of his life's dreams were ruined and wiped out. He stood there by the ashes that were smoldering the next day and some of his associates tried to comfort him and with a tear drop in their voice they said Edison, isn't this an awful thing that has happened. The dreams of your lifetime are in ashes and were ruined. Edison turned to him and said, "Keep your facts and your opinions separated. It is a fact that the building is destroyed but it's just your opinion that I'm ruined."


It's true we have trouble but He didn't forget you. The fact is you're having a lot of troubles but the fact is He didn't forget you. "Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion upon the son of her womb? Yet they may forget but I will not forget you. I have graven you upon the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me." If you were to see God's big hand you would see the name Pastor R.H. Buck. You'd see every last one of you, He's written your names down on His hand. If His hand is big enough to measure the heavens with the tip of his finger on one side and his thumb on the other, He'd said He'd measure the heavens with a span of his hand. And if he could put all of the nations as a drop in his hands he has plenty of room to write.


I was praying last night in preparation for today and as the Lord often does He gave me a living panorama of truth here in my office. Letting me see in such an unforgettable way that He does not forget even when people forget. God opened up His divine memory and I could look and see what God was remembering and He let me see one particular person. His name was Joseph. I haven't thought a whole lot about Joseph. I didn't realize all that Joseph was suffering in jail. I saw Joseph with his feet tied with cords tight and they were all infected and hurting, sores because of the tightness of those cords. And my heart went out to him and God said, "I cared when Joseph was down there. I care about each individual." Then I saw him with his hands in irons. I asked as I was meditating, is this anywhere in the Bible? And he said that it was so much a part of God's memory that He would never forget. That the world may suffer and people not know and seemingly not care but God cares. And those things that are important to us are important to Him. He said with David, hundreds of years afterwards he allowed David to see inside of his memory and He instructed him to write down these things that you see and he said you can read this Psalm 105 and verse 17 and 18. Here he allowed him to see what happened to Joseph. He loves us and remembers our needs and hurts. He remembers those little details of our lives. But we think that God doesn't even know about, and God has forgotten about us. And here it is, "He sent a man before him even Joseph who was sold for a servant whose feet they hurt with fetters and he was laid in iron."


Do you know why God remembered that? God felt those hurts. And He tells us that He Himself is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows how you hurt when you're hurting. He remembers us. He says He cannot forget. He said this woman may forget her son but I cannot forget. Noah in Genesis 8:1. Think of the helplessness of Noah on that ark. He didn't have a motor; he didn't even have a rudder. All he had to go on was God's promise. But it happened sure enough just exactly as He said it would. God is in control. I just know Noah was looking at those skies. All of a sudden, just like a facet is turned off, it stopped. God remembered Noah. His plan was being fulfilled just exactly as God said it would happen. Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow know what the plan is so, you've been hurting fifty days already and you're wondering, it would be so nice if God would let you know what His plan is so you could gear yourself for those next few days if he has more time but we don't know. But what we do know is that we can trust Him.


I think of Abraham, Genesis 19:29, when the angels went into Sodom to destroy it. Lot didn't want to leave but the Word tells us the Lord remembered Abraham. When he was there he remembered Abraham and saved Lot. God is remembering your mother, your father, a friend who loved you and God is remembering and helping you because He remembers them. I think of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:19 where she wanted to have a child so bad that she went to church when no one else was there. She went up to the front and started praying. And she prayed and prayed and prayed. And the priest there looked at her and said her lips are moving but she's not saying anything. Her heart was praying. The priest couldn't hear a word she said but there was another ear that was listening and there was another voice that was crying, the voice of her heart. And God said, "I am listening" and the Bible says God remembered that He made a promise. And she became the mother of Samuel.


I think of the different times when God remembered when Israel was in the land of Egypt. In Exodus 2:24 the Word tells us, it got time to get out of that place, God said, "You're only going to be here 400 years. The nation of Israel, and I'm going to bring you out." It was a covenant that God made to Abraham. God remembered the covenant that He made with Abraham. In opening up His big memory and said way back there I remember talking to Abraham and saying Abraham I'm going to bring those people out of there with great spoil. God remembered His covenant. In Genesis 3:15, He spoke to Moses and said, "Moses I have a certain part of Me that I want to be a memorial to the people forever. And that is I never go out of business, I never change my mind, my promise is always good." He said it's got to be written on everybody's minds. They've got to know about it, that I AM. Who? Moses said if they ask the people who sent me what am I going to say? God said, "say I AM has sent you." Then he said, "I Am that I Am." Then he told Moses, the fact that I Am is a memorial that you are never to forget. That I Am. He is still I Am. What he means by that is when I made the promise, I had certain feelings about you but I haven't changed, I Am, I carry them right on along. He is the Father of eternity, yesterday, today and forever He's the same. What a beautiful memorial He's given.


Then I think of God's memory in Exodus 6:5 as the children of Israel groaned and God said, "I've heard their groaning's. And it's come up before Me." There are so many beautiful expressions here telling us what God is like. But because God has proven Himself, that He can be trusted, that He hasn't forgotten you in His memory. He tells us there are a few things I want you to remember. Because you're so prone to forget, you're not I Am like He is, you forget. There are a few people walking around that are saying I Am but they're not. They even forget like I do sometimes. I found a letter in my pocket that has been in my pocket for 3 weeks. I went and mailed it last night. It wasn't a letter that my wife had given me. It was somebody's marriage license. I had 30 days before they would cancel your marriage but you see we're all the time proving that we forget.


Psalm 103, "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me. And forget not all of His benefits. Who forgives all our iniquities." Some of you men that got angry and spoke a little harshly to your kids or wife yesterday, right now you're afraid, you've laid it out before God but if you were to stand before God you'd say God I'm so sorry I did that thing. God would have to look at you and say what are you talking about? All of your iniquities. And for this reason we all ought to be grateful to God. Then, "healing all of your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns us with loving-kindness," the very crown is the unearned favor of God and when you can't look to God and say God I have done the right things now I'm going to claim this promise and you haven't met God's conditions. God looks down at you and David knew this and he said, "Oh God you're crowning my life even when I don't deserve it. You love me even when I don't deserve it and you're showing mercy on me.


I kept a little report on my desk for quite a little while asking people as they came in, did you do the right things, do you feel like you met God's conditions in claiming this answer to your prayer. And over a period of at least a year only 5% said I met the conditions so I could literally say God do this for me. The 95% received God's help and God's love but they said it's only the mercy of God, I didn't deserve it, it was God's grace. God looked down and said there's no way in the world that person could ever earn, they just haven't met the conditions but they need help so bad and I can and I will help them. And so David was saying I didn't meet the conditions but He crowns me with His loving-kindness and His tender mercies. Praise God forever. "Who satisfies your mouth so your youth is renewed like the eagles."


What He's talking about here is that life doesn't need to be boring it can be exciting because of the good things that God keeps bringing us. So our spiritual youth and life is maintained. In fact not only our spiritual youth, we had somebody come to vote in the church a while back. And some of the ladies came to me and said, "What do these people do around here to look so young?" And I said, "What do you mean?" They said, "Well that lady there now, she's got to be at least 30 years old but she only looks 24 or 25 years old. What do they do to look so young?" I said, "Every one of those that you picked is past 35.


Then he tells us we can thank Him because he does the right thing. He executes righteousness. The word righteousness means that he cannot do the wrong thing, He'll always do the right thing by you and the word execute means He puts it into action. He does the right thing by you. Therefore we can thank Him. Never forget this. Then in verse 10, "He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." How is He rewarding us, how is He dealing with us? It's according to his covenant. The promise that he made, His covenant is ever before Him. He does not allow wickedness, other things to dictate to him his course of action. That dictates what happens to people, their course, but with God his love reaches out still. In verse 12, here's another thing that He wants you to remember, when the enemy comes to you and says look at this thing, God is going to hold this up for you in the judgment. God wants you to remember as far is the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us. And when you think that God doesn't care like as a father pities his children so the Lord pities those who fear him for he knows our frame, He remembers that we are but dust. Verse 17, "but the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him and His righteousness unto children's children." Then in verse 20, "bless the Lord you angels who excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word, doing whatever God tells them to do bless ye the Lord all ye hosts, ye ministers of his who do his pleasure. Bless the Lord all his works in all places of his dominion, bless the Lord oh my soul."


Will you remember the Lord today? I'd like to read a thought that the Lord seemed to impress me with while I was praying yesterday. Since God has given this quality, this little part of Himself, your memory is a dynamo with power to release that mighty force for good and bad. With our memories we open the rich treasure chest of days gone by. We are moved by events that have long past. We hear, we see, we feel that which was but is no longer here. Today some of you have heard again the good bye's of a husband, of a son, of a sweetheart as they answered the call of their country and never returned. Because of this part of God within us, some have lived again the last days of one held dear. And your life has been mellowed because of it. Though we can never forget, it is good to have these times of special reminder.


Today you have already thought in your mind you have been able to reach back and cause to live again scenes that were before, this is part of God. God today is in his memory is thinking of that day when your heart cried out to Him, and you said I want to be yours. God is remembering, He can never forget. Hallelujah. Let's make this Memorial Day in the truest sense of the word. Knowing that you can count on God, He will not forget you, let's determine in our heart not to forget Him.