“Yet how quickly they forgot what He had done!” Psalm 106:13a (NLT)
The sin that started the Israelites on a path away from God was their forgetfulness. God worked a great miracle at the Red Sea but as soon as they needed water in the desert, they seemed to forget all that God had done for them.
I can relate to forgetting all the blessings and miracles God has done for me. So often, when I’m faced with a problem, I have spiritual amnesia and act like God has never come through for me in the past. When I fail to remember all that God has done for me, it sets me up to believe Satan’s lies that the Lord doesn’t care about what I’m going through in the present. When we forget what God has done for us in the past, our hearts immediately start to wander away from God’s provision and peace.
I love the hymn that we sing sometimes at Woodlands Church called “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. It describes the wandering heart prone to sin and rebellion that we all struggle with even as Christ followers. Here are the lyrics:
Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount-I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
This hymn was written by a pastor named, Robert Robinson in 1758, who struggled himself with a heart prone to wander from God. Even after a successful pastorate, he found himself straying from God and returning to his old ways of rebellion and sin. The story is told that one day while riding a stagecoach a young lady began to sing the very hymn he wrote years before. She had no idea Robinson was the author of that hymn. As she finished singing, the young woman told Robinson how much she loved this hymn and asked what he thought about the song. His startling reply was: “Madam, I am the unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago; and, I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, if I could feel now as I felt then.” The good news is that Robinson’s life did not end in the far country. Like the prodigal son, God used this encounter to restore his fellowship with the One in whom there is streams of mercy never ending.
As you read this you may be prompted to examine your own heart too. How often have you been rescued and then returned to your old ways? It’s so easy to stray when we forget what
God has done in our lives. Our most vital relationship with God must be maintained in daily fellowship with Him, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The good news is that God always welcomes us back when we turn to Him in repentance and faith.