Memories (Sept., 2023)
We all have memories. Some of them are wonderful memories; but oftentimes, they are not so good. We may reflect on a time when the Lord did something marvelous in our lives or the life of another. We experienced great joy in that memory. Then, again, we may recall a memory that leaves us with grief, sorrow, depression, fear, anxiety, etc. We may remember an event in our past where we suffered from the loss of someone that we loved dearly. It may be that they were killed in an accident, overdosed, and/ or they left us after having made covenant with us in marriage. What do we do with memories that plague us daily?
Let us first look at the meaning of memories. Memories are the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information, a recollection. Are you tormented by memories of your past? Did someone hurt you or a family member? Did you have past failures; failed in school, in a job, a new business…? Are your memories full of regrets – “I wish that I had of…”; “I wish that I didn’t…” …But you realize that you can’t change any of it. Do your memories cause you ongoing grief? Did you make a wrong decision in your past, and now you find yourself grieving daily concerning that? Are you experiencing condemnation, guilt, and/or shame? We may suffer in these areas when events first happen, but should we go on with pain for days upon days; years upon years concerning that memory.
Paul said in Philippians 3:13&14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived or attained to or have already been made perfect): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “Forgetting” -- This doesn’t mean that we can pull memories out of our minds, but it does mean that we can choose to neglect those things. How? We must decree the Word of the Lord that combats that memory.
Allow me to give you an example. You may have had a parent, teacher, or someone else that put you down with his/her words. They may have told you how stupid that you are; that you will never matter in this world; and that no one will ever love you or want you. These words that are spoken over and over create a belief system. Satan took this from Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Satan saw that if he could keep speaking the negative into one’s life, they would believe it. Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.” Once again, satan learned that if someone believes him, it would be done unto them. So, he is speaking over and over painful memories to individuals, so that they will believe, giving satan entrance to their lives to steal, kill, and destroy.
Paul had many horrible memories. He held the coat of those who stoned Stephen. All Stephen had done was preach Jesus. Paul saw the stones that were thrown from the crowd battering the body of Stephen. He saw him kneel down, and cry with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Stephen had died) (Acts 7:60). Paul could have never walked out his call from God if he had of allowed this memory and many others to hold him in the bondages of his yesterday.
There is a Scripture that will combat every memory that the enemy wants to torment you with. We gave the example above that someone tells us over and over that we are stupid and will never amount to anything. I must cast those words down in Jesus’ name (2 Cor. 10:4&5) and declare the Word over and over until that Truth gets into my heart. Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” “…We have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). Will we believe the Word of the Lord for us, or will we believe what satan said through a man or a woman (yes, even one in the church, or a parent, or a teacher, etc.? Remember “…let God be true, but every man a liar…” Rom. 3:4.