Those Forgotten Things
Have you ever put something in your closet or your dresser and forgot about it? You stuck it there out of convenience or the need of space and completely forgot it was there. I have. We have moved a few times throughout my life and when you move you pack and when you pack you lose things. You don’t set out to lose things, it just kind of happens. It’s part of the experience. I have boxes in my parent’s storage that have been there for over 10 years. Wow. I can’t even imagine all of the “treasures” I would find in those bad boys. It seems easy to put trinkets or memorabilia away and save it for later, but what about when we do this with parts of ourselves? Do we ever pack up things and say we’ll pull it out later but never do? Are those forgotten things gone forever?
The other night, out of the blue, I felt prompted to start skimming my old journals and notebooks. I couldn’t explain why but all of a sudden I really wanted to re-read the words God had given me in the past. I wanted to know what He had been speaking and if any of it had come to fruition. As I sat there scrolling through page after page of my life from five and ten years ago I was captured by how much I had forgotten. There were so many words that had been so meaningful to me, words that carried me through seasons or brought joy in sorrow. I had loved them but after I had written them down I tucked them away and forgot about them.
How often do we do this with the words God speaks to us? We get a word from the Lord, write it down, praise Him for it and then walk away. I even believed once that I was supposed to “put words on the shelf and just wait.” Seriously? If I did that with the Word of God I would never grow. How come we are so quick to store away those things God whispers to us? How come we brush them off and put no stock into them? What should we be doing with them?
Speak to Remember
“Remember, Simba. Remember who you are.” This infamous line was spoken by Mufasa in Disney’s “The Lion King.” Simba, his son, was having an identity crisis of sorts and Mufasa had appeared to remind him who he really was. The king had to visit Simba so he could remember where he came from and what his birthright was.
I think we can relate to Simba more often than we realize. We go from a child of the King to exile in denial. When we stop owning our identity we begin to forget who we are.
-Simba was running from who he was because he thought had messed up beyond forgiveness. Sometimes our sin separates us and we cast ourselves out of the presence of the King because we think we are unforgivable. Our identity begins to shift into something less than it was meant to be.
-Simba left everyone to think he was dead. When we look at who we are and who we were it can feel as if we are dead as well. All it took was for someone to come and speak into his life for him to remember who he really was.
How do we remember? How do we bring those things back to life? Where does the renewal come from?
In Ezekiel 37:1-14 we see the Prophet’s encounter with the Lord and the valley of dry bones. God showed him a valley full of bones that were “very dry.” God asked if the bones could live and the prophet said, “O, Lord God, you know.” He was commanded to prophesy over the bones for them to come together and then for there to be breath in them. He spoke to them with words of life and they came alive. They were brought back to what they were and the spirit of God filled them.
As I read those words the other night I felt like the breath was coming back. It was not that I had died over the years but I had forgotten what was spoken. I had forgotten all God had placed within me and I just needed that night to be reminded. I needed those words to speak into my life and release that breath for what is about to come.
God’s word and His words to us are not just nice thoughts or sentiments sent for us to feel good about ourselves. They are not flowery journal entries we store away and admire 20 years down the road. They are spoken into our lives as a way for us to live. The word comes to give life and when we fail to speak it out we fail to fully live.
Speak to Bring Life
Every Sunday, right after worship, I lead my kids in kids church in 3 declarations. “I am loved,” “I am chosen,” “I am a child of God.” You may think, “What’s the point of that?” Well, in Hebrews 4:12 it talks about how “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” His word is living, it is active and it is our weapon. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
We defend our lives with His word. Not merely by reading it, but by speaking it and releasing it over our lives.
When we look at our lives do we feel as if we have lots of bones, lots of words that have died and no longer seem possible?
God wants to begin to breathe life on them again.
This is a year for the dry bones to live. The words to come to life and those dreams, passions or calls to receive the breath of God. He sees the former things and He longs for them to be present and not past. Whatever we may feel like has died in our lives, joy, hope, direction, call, God wants to bring it back to life in us again. All we have to do is begin to prophesy to those bones to live. Speak out His word with power and confidence.
What will you see come to life this year?