BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years” (Judges 3:7-8 NKJV).
Obviously, the opposite of forgetting the LORD is remembering the LORD. Whoever will not forget the LORD must remember the LORD. Judges 3:7says the children of Israel forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and Asherahs. Because of this, the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. “So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years” (Judges 3:7-8 NKJV).
Did you see the result of the anger of God on the Israelites after they forgot Him? He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia and they served this king for eight years. That was what forgetting the LORD and serving foreign gods cost the nation of Israel. Forgetting the LORD and engaging in idolatry, whether graven images or modern idols of money, wealth, power, success, etc. will always attract the anger of the LORD. No one prospers under anger of the LORD!
In 1 Samuel 12:6-9, Samuel recounted to the Israelites how after God brought their fathers out of Egypt into the land of Canaan, they forgot the LORD their God. Consequently, the LORD sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, the Philistines, and the king of Moab who fought against them. Referring to this sin by the Israelites, Psalm 106:21 says, “They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt” (NKJV).
Anyone who forgets the LORD will automatically serve another lord. There can’t be any vacuum. Talking about the Israelites again, the LORD said their fathers forgot His name for Baal (Jeremiah 23:27). Forgetting the LORD is a serious sin, which leads to idolatry and other sins, and with grave consequences.
Notwithstanding, how long one has walked with the LORD and the blessings and miracles one has received from Him, it’s possible to forget the LORD. One may have had wonderful revelations from the Lord and be His spokesperson for years, it is no guarantee that one cannot forget Him. You must take your stand and take heed to yourself so that you don’t forget the LORD, and you don’t waste His investment in your life.
I want to share with you what will help you not to forget the LORD. I will focus on what you must not forget so as not to forget the LORD. These things, I must say, are interrelated. What are those things you must not forget that will help you to remember the LORD?
1.Remember to live for the LORD and make His Kingdom your primary concern. Everything on earth is transient; only the kingdom of God will last forever. Matthew 6:33 says God “will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (NLT).
How do you live for God and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern? The first thing is to be born again – give your life to Jesus. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 NKJV).
You can’t live for God and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern without the Word of God. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (NLT). Therefore, don’t forget the Word of the LORD, especially concerning worshipping Him. Deuteronomy 8:11 says, “Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and laws” (NLT).
There’re commands, regulations and laws that the LORD has given in the Bible. There’re all kinds of man-made philosophy and teaching today that are at variant with the Word of God. Don’t prefer them to what the LORD says no matter how attractive or logical they may seem to be. “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands” (Proverbs 3:1 NKJV). You must never forget the Word of the LORD, especially in your season of abundance or success. “When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me” (Hosea 13:6 NKJV).
Part of living for God and making the Kingdom of God your primary concern is being kingdom minded, which includes working for the expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth by proclaiming the gospel and supporting the preaching of the Word of God through your finances, prayer, etc.
2. Don’t forget the covenant of the LORD. The LORD cuts and keeps His covenants. He’ll keep His covenant with you. He made a covenant with Abraham, swore an oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob as a decree or statute to give them the land of Canaan as an inheritance. The LORD fulfilled His word. He says, “I will never break My covenant with you” (Judges 2:1b NKJV).
We are currently under a new covenant, which is a better covenant whose effectiveness is guaranteed by Jesus’ Christ (Hebrews 7:22). This covenant with God is based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). For this covenant to take effect, it required the blood of Jesus, which was shed on the cross.
You should always remember this covenant. Always remember that your salvation may be free but it’s not cheap – it cost Jesus his life. If you remember this, it will help you to have a pleasant walk and fellowship with God.
There could also be a personal covenant between you and the LORD. See that you don’t violate any part of the covenant “Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations” (1 Chronicles 16:15 NKJV).
If you forget His covenant, you’ll break it. And when you break His covenant, you’ll face the consequences just as it happened to the children of Israel. “When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant. Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them” (Deuteronomy 31:20-21NKJV).
3. Don’t forget the name of the LORD. Psalm 20:7-8 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright” (NKJV). Zephaniah 3:12 says, “I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD” (NKJV). The name of the LORD and the person of the LORD are the same. What the LORD will do in person, His name will also do. His name is as potent as His person. Calling upon His name invites His person. That’s why Jesus says, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14 NKJV).
In John 15:16, Jesus says again, “Whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (NKJV). He says also, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24 NKJV). Verse 26 also says a similar thing about His name, the name of Jesus is as powerful as the person of Jesus. Jesus cast out demons when He was in the flesh, and He said that those who believe in Him shall, in His name, cast out devils (Mark 16:17).
So you must reverence the name of the LORD. That’s why Exodus 20:7 says, “Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name” (NLT).
Remember the name of the LORD. Let His name be in your heart. Let it also be in your mouth. Call the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:12-13 says, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (NKJV). Do you remember to call upon the name of the LORD? Don’t wait until there is a danger before you call upon His name. However, there are even many people who do everything else when they’re in danger, but fail to do what is most important – calling on the name of the LORD.
Earlier, the writer of Psalm 116 said, “The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!’” (Verses 3-4 NKJV). That is the wisest thing to do. Be as wise as this psalmist here. Don’t trust in your own strength or wisdom – call upon the name of the LORD. “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved’” (Romans 10:13 NKJV). The name of the LORD is powerful. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NKJV).
There is victory in the name of the LORD. That name gave David victory over Goliath. David said to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47 NKJV).
It happened just as David had said. In the name of the LORD, he defeated Goliath. Some remember their weapons, but not the name of the LORD and such persons will be defeated. The writer of Psalm 118 says, “All nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; they were quenched like a fire of thorns; for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them” (Psalm 118:10-12 NKJV). Put that name in your mouth and do your battle. Proclaim His name. Your victory is assured.
4. Don’t forget the power of the LORD. Psalm 62:11 says, “God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God” (NKJV). God is the great and terrible God (Nehemiah1:5) You must never forget this. The Bible calls Him a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3; Hebrews 12:29). How do you relate to fire? As beneficial as fire is, you don’t become careless with it.
The Bible says concerning the children of Israel: “They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy” (Psalm 78:42 NKJV). The Israelites forgot the power that delivered them from their enemy. That was a wrong attitude. That’s the attitude of many today. As soon as they’re delivered and they share the testimony, if they do at all, they forget. With time, some will even begin to ascribe their deliverance to their prayer and fasting, their brilliance, their expertise, their ingenuity, their smartness, etc. No. You should never do that. Don’t take the credit for what the LORD has done in your life.
If you remember the power of the LORD, you’ll always live in awe of Him. Hear Nehemiah: “And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses’” (Nehemiah 4:14 NKJV).
Do you remember the LORD, how great and terrible He is? If you can remember the power of God, you’ll reverence Him, worship Him and avoid anything that can position you against His power. You won’t want to become a casualty of His power.
5. Don’t forget the wonderful deeds of the LORD, His wonders in the past. This is related to the last thing I talked about – not forgetting the power of the LORD. The wonderful deeds of the LORD should draw you closer to Him. The warriors of Ephraim were guilty of forgetting the wonderful miracles the LORD did for their ancestors in Egypt, and the LORD counted this against them. “The warriors of Ephraim, though fully armed, turned their backs and fled when the day of battle came. They did not keep God’s covenant, and they refused to live by his law. They forgot what he had done — the wonderful miracles he had shown them, the miracles he did for their ancestors in Egypt, on the plain of Zoan” (Psalm 78:9-12 NLT).
It seems that human beings are too quick to forget mostly everything God does for them as soon as the pain is gone. They don’t often keep memory of the His wonders and appreciate Him for long. “They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalm 106:13-15 NKJV).
Jesus denounced the cities where He did most of the miracles in His ministry because they didn’t repent despite the mighty works He did in their midst. They were not moved at all. Hear what Jesus said: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:21-24 NKJV).
Don’t be like these cities. Forget not the works of the LORD, His wonders. Meditate on them and worship Him. Appreciate the mighty works of the LORD. Don’t take Him for granted. Remember the marvellous works He has done, especially in your life. “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvellous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth” (Psalm 105:4-5 NKJV).
David said, “I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of miracles and wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. You have redeemed your people by your strength, the descendants of Jacob and of Joseph by your might” (Psalm 77:11-15 NLT). You should emulate David, too. Don’t forget the signs and wonders of God, especially in your life.
If you can remember the wonderful deeds of the LORD, His wonders in the past, you can believe Him to do much more for you in any negative circumstance you find yourself, and concerning any challenge you’re facing. Such remembrance will provoke your faith. This was what happened to David. “Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, ‘The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:36-37 NKJV).
If you remember what the LORD did for you in the past, His deliverance, His victory, you’ll never be afraid of any enemy or challenge you currently face. Your attitude will be like that of David that the LORD who did it before will do it again. “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ — you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:17-18 NKJV).
6. Don’t forget your past. What this means in this context is not to forget where the LORD brought you from. Don’t forget how He has led you to where you are now. The LORD brought the children of Israel out of Egypt by a powerful hand. “This night had been reserved by the LORD to bring his people out from the land of Egypt, so this same night now belongs to him. It must be celebrated every year, from generation to generation, to remember the LORD’s deliverance” (Exodus 12:42 NLT).
He brought them to the land of Canaan to worship Him there and warned them not to serve the gods that the former inhabitants of the land were worshipping, which made Him ask the Israelites to destroy them and possess their land. In dealing with the Israelites, the LORD kept referring to their deliverance from Egypt, reminding them that they were slaves in Egypt before He rescued them. “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15 NKJV).
Deuteronomy 24:18 says, “But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing” (NKJV). Deuteronomy 16:12 also says, “And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes” (NKJV).
If you can’t remember where you were before the LORD brought you to your present position, you may begin to misbehave and live contrary to the instructions of the LORD. “Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. That is why I am giving you this command” (Deuteronomy 24:22 NLT). The command here refers to the command regarding leaving some part of their harvests for the foreigners, orphans, and widows and remembering that they were once slaves in Egypt. Not remembering where the LORD has brought you from, will make you not to be humble and appreciate Him.
Don’t forget where you came from – where you used to be. Remember that it wasn’t by your power that you are where you’re today. The LORD led you from somewhere to this place. Psalm 78:53-54 says about the Israelites, “And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy border, this mountain which His right hand had acquired” (NKJV). The LORD rebuked the Red Sea for them and it dried up; He led them through the deep as through a desert (Psalm 106:9). The LORD led the Israelites in the daytime with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire (Psalm 78:14).
There are some wilderness and Red Sea that the LORD has led you through in life. Don’t forget that. It wasn’t by your power that you didn’t die in the wilderness and you didn’t drown in the Red Sea. It was the LORD. Remember the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life, leading you. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV).
7. Don’t forget all the good things the LORD has done for you (all his benefits). Psalm 103:2 says, “Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me” (NLT). David, the writer of this psalm, goes ahead to highlight all the good things that the LORD had done for him, including forgiving him all his sins, healing all his diseases, ransoming him from death, surrounding him with love and tender mercies, filling his life with good things, renewing his youth like the eagle’s, etc. Can you remember as much as that – the good things that the LORD has done for you?
Some people are quick to remember what the LORD has not done; they hardly remember the good things He has done. Maybe you have a list of negative things that happened to you, which you think God didn’t avert (You feel God hasn’t done anything or much for you!). I may not be able to fault your list! Nevertheless, probably things could have been worse for you without God! Probably the story could have been worse!
Those who remember the good things God has done for them are usually grateful to Him and He does more for them. “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV).
8. Don’t forget the mistakes you have made or sins you have committed in your walk with the LORD. I am not talking about a negative remembrance that makes you feel guilty if you have repented and confessed your sins. Rather, I’m talking about remembrance to avoid a repeat. I’m not saying you should carry a guilty baggage around but to learn from your past sins and mistakes. God has forgiven the sins you have repented of and confessed. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12 NKJV). Nevertheless, you must learn from your sins and mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.
Moses told the Israelites, “Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. Also in Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry enough with you to have destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 9:7-11 NKJV). Remember and learn from your sins and mistakes.
9. Praise the LORD. This is another powerful way not to forget the LORD. “Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!” (Psalm 113:1-2 NKJV). Psalm 135:1 says, “Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; praise Him, O you servants of the LORD!” (NKJV).
You can praise the LORD with songs. Sing and worship the LORD for who He is, His nature and character. Your songs can express your appreciation for what He has done for you. Psalm 7:17 says, “I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High” (NKJV). Psalm 148:5-6 says every created thing should give praise to the LORD because He issued His command, and they came into being and established them forever and forever; His orders will never be revoked. Verses 12-13 say, “Let them all praise the name of the LORD. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!” (NLT). Give thanks to the name of the LORD (Psalm 122:4).
Sing praises to God alone and also join fellow believers to sing His praises. Ephesians 5:19 urges believers to speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the LORD. Verses 20-21 say believers should give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:16 enjoins us to “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” (NLT).
Conclusion: Don’t forget the LORD. I believe if you do all the things I’ve discussed in this message, you’ll not forget the LORD and you won’t experience the consequences of doing so. His name shall continually be in your heart and in your mouth. Don’t forget what Psalm 124:8 says: “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (NKJV). Your help is in the name of the LORD; therefore, don’t forget the LORD.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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