Have you ever wondered what’s important in the book of Deuteronomy? It isn’t a book that is taught from as often as many of the others. But in the eighth chapter, there are some instructions that are still quite relevant for us today.
Moses shares God’s words to the Hebrew people and tells them to remember what God has done for them. They are to remember God when they have eaten and are satisfied. They are to remember God and thank God for the things He has given them. Because if they do not remember they will forget.
And when they forget God, they will look around at the houses they have built and the wealth they have accumulated and their hearts will become lifted up by self-conceit and arrogance. They will tell themselves, “my power and the strength of my hand has made me this comfortable”.
Moses reminds them in Deuteronomy 8:18, “But you shall remember [with profound respect] the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth”. (AMP) Later Moses says, “if you forget God and serve and worship other things, you will most certainly perish”.
Do you hear the warning? It is so easy for us to look around at what we’ve accumulated and take credit. It is so easy to serve and worship things made of stone, paper, or steel. It is so easy for us to believe that our abilities are what sustain us and never give thought to the origin of those abilities. And we will make this mistake – every one of us will do this – unless we are diligent about remembering.
I have this little game I play sometimes when I know my thoughts need to be held captive. When I know my focus needs to shift from myself back to remembering God. I play an ABC game. I think about something in my life that starts with A and I thank Him for it. Then I move to B. Then I move to C.
Sometimes I try to think of people I love and I name them. Sometimes I think of things only in that day and I name them. Sometimes I think of prayers that have been answered and I name them. I try to change it up a bit to keep it fresh, but it has worked for me for a long time. When my spirit is anxious it works. When I feel like I’m not enough it works. When I need a way back to Jesus it works. When I am seeking forgiveness it works. It’s a simple yet tangible way for me to remember.
I’m going to try it when I need to specifically praise Him for the things in my life and the abilities He’s gifted me with. Because when I read these reminders in Deuteronomy, I recognize that my heart gets off track sometimes. And the quickest way to realign my heart with God’s is to remember what He’s done for me. To remember that everything I have and everything I am has always been and will always be… His.