One of the definitions of ‘remembering’ is ‘bringing the power and reality of the past into the present.’ It is making past events present realities! ‘Impacting’ indicates ‘a strong effect or influence on someone.’
This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit – it is not merely the effort of the mind endeavouring to revert to the past, it is the omnipotence of the Spirit bringing the power of the past into the present.
We’re heading toward Christmas – when Christians and the church celebrate this great historical event, as we’ve just celebrated Easter and Pentecost, it’s as if it happened only yesterday.
The Spirit brings the power of the past into the present so that we can not only remember but speak with impact on what happened 2000 years ago; thus what is spoken of today is completely relevant to all who would hear.
When I became a born-again Christian over 27 years ago at that moment the Spirit caused me to see what Jesus had done for me on the cross. It was as if Jesus actually died for me right there and then – it was not a history lesson – it was a reality so powerful that it changed my life forever!
I saw the mercy seat in heaven with fresh blood on it, and knew that as the Father saw that blood, he forgave me of all my sins. It also showed me that the blood of Jesus was different to all others – it was fresh, alive and would never lose its power to cleanse, save and heal anyone who came to him for such.
Jesus told us in John 14:26 that the counsellor, the Holy Spirit, would be sent by the Father and would teach us all things and would remind us of everything he had said.
Remembering impacts us
Why do we need to be reminded? So that when troubles come or the pace of life is overwhelming we can recall the words of Jesus, the prophetic words spoken over us and the encouragement of our friends and be steadfast in our resolve to follow Jesus and to stick close to him.
Before Mary gave birth to Jesus and after he was born, she received words from an angel, from her cousin Elizabeth, and prophets in the temple. All of which she remembered and kept in her heart so that when troubles came and things didn’t seem to be working out as she had thought, her heart did not turn cold toward the Lord, but she waited on him until all things were made clear.
Peter had a word from the Lord about how he would respond when Jesus was arrested. Ultimately it enabled him to repent and, not only return to the Lord, but to encourage others in the faith during the days of the early church when persecution became rampant.
Paul had a word from the Lord also – how much he would suffer in his ministry for the cause of Christ. It kept him constant through more trials and hardships than you or I will ever experience in our lifetimes and he was able to say at the end of it all ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’ (2Tim.4:7).
What kept Peter and Paul constant in their walk with the Lord? Why didn’t they give up after so many hardships and persecutions? Because they reminded themselves of where they had come from, what Christ had done for them, and how the Holy Spirit was speaking to them each day. They also fellowshipped with other believers who, as friends and companions, encouraged them in their walk and their ministry.
Remember when you first came to Christ – how did you feel? Remember when you first told somebody about Jesus and what he had done for you – did you feel the pleasure of the Holy Spirit? Remember when you first heard the Spirit direct you to do something and you actually did it – what was it like? Remember when you first had a prophetic word and it began to come to pass – the awe you felt?
These are all memories that are personal and particular to you, but even greater things than this are to be remembered and will be an anchor for your soul in times when personal experiences seem to fade. They will also strengthen us to effectively influence others.
Remember Jesus and what he has done for us: Remember…
• The tears of Gethsemane and Jesus’ sweat falling as drops of blood – then whatever seems hard to us will be easy.
• The mock trial, false witnesses and accusations – we can forgive the slander of others about us.
• The injustice of his trial – we can bear injustices against us.
• The stripes on his back, and the crown of thorns on his head – know that because of this we have healing – body and soul.
• Jesus’ last words to the dying and repentant thief – we will not stop reaching out with compassion to those who are far from him.
• His commitment to the Father – it will help us to keep that commitment also and not turn away during hard times.
• His burial in the tomb of Joseph, and his mighty resurrection – we will know there is hope for a hopeless world.
• That he intercedes for his own and will return for his bride in time – we will press on to our own high calling in Christ Jesus.
• That the Book of Acts is not a history lesson! The Holy Spirit did not leave earth after the New Testament was compiled. He has been leading and guiding God’s children in every nation from that day to this. He is still talking, reminding and leading those who belong to Jesus. He is still working miracles, changing lives, healing, convicting and prophesying through them in the name of Jesus.
Like Peter and Paul we can remember where we came from, what Christ has done for us and what the Lord has called us to. Regularly fellowshipping with other believers, our friends and companions in the journey, will give us the encouragement and strength we need to walk through the ups and downs of life.
In this connection, we too have a precious promise to remember and hold onto – ‘Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured his name. “They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession”’ (Malachi 3:16-17).
As we remember all these things and reflect on them, let us draw nearer to God, more aware of what the Spirit is saying – and do the works that Jesus has called each one of us to. Let’s be effective for Jesus – influencing and impacting others with our words and testimonies.
Geraldine Brandt strongly believes God’s word, the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer, and is a balanced intercessor.