1Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 4 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 5 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Do you see a common thread here? This is an exhortation for Israel to remember all the redemptive and miraculous acts performed by God as He rescued them out of Egypt. As they reflected on His goodness, they were to praise Him for all He had done and worship Him for who He was! Too many times we forget what God has brought us through. We take Him for granted after time has passed and as we get consumed with life’s present circumstances. But God wants you to take time to remember on a regular basis!
You can be assured that God is not asking this of us without a reason. There is a purpose for everything He does, and it always results in blessings. When we remember and reflect upon the things of God, a shift takes place in our lives and produces the following:
1. Trust—By reflecting on past victories, it becomes easier to trust God with future obstacles. Take King David, for example. When he was just a young man without experience as a warrior, David was the only one who dared to confront Goliath, the giant Philistine who was threatening to take the Israelites captive. Scripture reveals that David gained courage and strength by reflecting on his past experiences as a shepherd protecting his flock. “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine,” he boldly declared. David knew he could trust God to come through for him. But had he not remembered what God had done for him in the past, he may have never defeated the giant in the present!
2. Perspective—Looking at life with worldly vision can get blurry very quickly. That’s why the Word tells us to fix our eyes on things above and think about praiseworthy things (Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:8). When you think upon and praise God for all the goodness he has brought into your life, your spiritual vision gets clearer. You begin to realize that God is bigger than any problem you may face and that He will fight your battles for you. You’ll also be reminded that your life is not your own. You were not created just to go through the motions of living. God has so many great plans for you and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 1:6)!
3. Obedience—It’s not until your trust is strengthened and your perspective is changed to reflect the will of God that the desire to be obedient emerges. And obedience is always what God is wanting from His people because it sets them apart from the world while setting them up for His purposes. His Word says that if we love Him, we will obey His commands. This, of course, is impossible to do in our own strength. But when we reflect and rely on His ability, His perspective, and His goodness, obedience becomes an achievable desire versus an obligation.
4. Testimony—Remember how I mentioned that as God changes your perspective, you’ll come to a greater realization that your life is not your own? A lot of what you go through is not about you! You are meant to be a vessel that reflects God's glory; everything He does in your life is supposed to be a testament of hope and encouragement for others. Nothing you go through is in vain; therefore, the outcome matters! But the only way you can have a testimony that glorifies God is if the first three shifts take place.
Like the Israelites, we are God’s chosen people. And just like the Israelites, there are things God has rescued us from and promises He wants to fulfill. So what is your Egypt? What goodness has God already brought into your life? Take time to remember all He’s done and allow the necessary shifts to take place so that you can fulfill your purpose…and enter into your promised land!