Have you ever lived by a train? If so, do you remember what it was like when the train came rumbling by for the first time? If you lived close enough, you would hear the roaring of the engine and the blast of its horn. As it comes closer, you may even feel it rumbling the floors or the walls.
But as the days, months and years move along, the power of the train and its effects become so familiar to you, you don’t even realize it’s there. The trains roaring engine, blasting horn and even the vibrations it sends through the home have lost its wonder because of familiarity.
This is the problem of heart-forgetfulness, to know the facts or truths of the gospel in your head but they are no longer the guiding principles of your life. The gospel has been put on the shelf behind busyness and complacency.
The Problem With Heart-Forgetfulness
Heart-forgetfulness was Israel’s dilemma during the time of the Judges, we repeatedly read “they forgot the Lord” (Judges 3:7). Usually their forgetting came during a time of peace and rest. When all in life appeared to be ok, which lead them to grow less dependent on the Lord. The cares and pleasures of the world became primary and the Lord became secondary. Israel began putting their hand up and saying “I got this” which eventually led to heart-forgetfulness.
Don’t we often do the same thing? When life seems good, we tend to tell the Lord “I got this” and slowly we drift into the dilemma of heart-forgetfulness.
As human beings, we are created to worship the Lord. When heart-forgetfulness takes place in our lives it leads down the dangerous road of idolatry. When we read in the Judges that Israel forgot the Lord this is usually what follows “and served the Baals and the Asheroth” (Judges 3:7). They begin to worship something else, because humans were created to worship and if we are not worshipping the Lord, then who are what are we worshipping.
When we have forgotten something, what is the usually the solution? Bingo! The solution is we need to remember.
Do you have kids? Do you remember taking them to the Dr. for their check ups and the Dr. would measure the child’s growth. Well Peter provides the Christian with a growth chart, check it out;
2 Peter 1:5-8 (ESV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter challenges us to “make every effort” or strive to display these virtues in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives usually revolves around chiseling these virtues into our heart. Look at the result of working out these virtues, “they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If we are increasing in these virtues heart-forgetfulness is not an issue. Peter goes on to say “if if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Pet. 1:10). What an amazing statement.
Peter also warns of heart-forgetfulness,
2 Peter 1:9-10 (ESV)
9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Whenever we take our eyes off Christ and growing in him, we head down the path of nearsightedness, blindness, heart-forgetfulness.
But don’t stop reading because Peter provides us the solution.
2 Peter 1:12-15 (ESV)
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,
14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.
15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (Italics added)
These are gospel people, they know and are established in the truth. But Peter says I intend to always remind you of the power of the gospel in your life. The solution to heart-forgetfulness is to remember the power of the gospel and it’s impact in your life. Peter says stir up the gospel by way of reminder. Remember where you were when the gospel of Christ found you. Remember how Christ cleansed you from your sins and cleared you of guilt. Remember the growth the Holy Spirit has brought forth in you and stir it up until it moves from your head to your heart.
Peter knew the problem of heart-forgetfulness was a serious issue and we know this because of verse fifteen, take a look at it. Did you catch it? Peter is saying I am going to die soon, but one of my priorities before I die is to make every effort to provide a way for you to remember and recall these things at any time. Thankfully through God’s providence and the inspiration of the Spirit we still have Peter’s words to help us remember.
How Can We Remember
- Keep the reading of God’s Word a priority in your life
- As God speaks through his Word, respond back in prayer
- Attend a Gospel-Centered church, where you will be reminded through fellowship, worship and the preaching of God’s Word
What suggestions do you have?
Until Next Time
Remember the gospel work God has done in your life