Sometimes I Forget

by Tama Fortner

…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1 NASB

Sometimes I forget who I am. Does that ever happen to you? Oh, I don’t mean I forget my name or where I live. (Though what I had for breakfast or why on earth I went into the kitchen can be a total mystery.) No, what I mean is that I sometimes forget who I am as a child of God.

I venture out into the world, or at least my little corner of it, and I’m instantly bombarded by all these images and messages of who the world says I should be, could be, or most definitely am not. (That’s the one that really gets me.) Not important enough, not experienced enough, not skilled enough. Simply not enough to do whatever it is the Lord is calling me to do that day. And it’s so tempting—it would be so easy—just to creep back inside, thinking to myself, You’re right, world. God must have gotten His wires crossed when He sent that message to me. I’m sure He meant for someone else to tackle that project, teach that class, write that book, speak to that neighbor down the street. There’s no way He meant me.

Right? Wrong!

Liar is not a word I use lightly. It’s a terrible thing to be called. But that’s exactly what the devil is. A great, big, pants-on-fire liar. Jesus called him the “father of lies” (John 8:44 NIV) because he has been murdering truth from the beginning, since that very first time he slithered into the garden and whispered to Adam and Eve. That serpent hasn’t stopped whispering yet.

Are you like me? Do you hear him sometimes too? His lies are enough to make us forget the truth of who we really are.

God doesn’t leave us defenseless against this enemy, though. He’s given us a whole Book filled with the truth of who we really are and who really wins this battle we fight each day. And while it may not matter that we’ve forgotten what yesterday’s breakfast was or exactly why we stepped into the kitchen, it is essential that we remember who the Lord says we are.

We are children of God (John 1:12), healed by our faith in His Son (Mark 5:34), and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit of God Himself (Acts 1:8). That power is not given to us so that we can shrink back in fear every time the devil comes slithering around, whispering his lies (2 Timothy 1:7). No! The Spirit empowers us to live out the plans—the good and perfect plans—God has for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11; Hebrews 13:21). And, yes, that includes you and me.

So let’s step back out into the world, into the mission God has given us. And let’s shine the light of His life-giving truth into a world desperate to escape the darkness of the evil one’s lies. Because when we belong to Him, that’s exactly what He enables us to do.

We just need to remember who we are.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Tama Fortner is an ECPA award-winning and bestselling writer with more than forty titles to her credit. As a ghostwriter, she has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Christian publishing to create inspirational books for children, teens, and adults. But her greatest accomplishments happen in a happy little home on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her family and an incredibly lazy dog who doubles as a footwarmer.

Tama’s newest title, Simply Christmas, releases September 28th from Ink & Willow and is available for pre-order now. Catch up with Tama and all her latest book news at www.TamaFortner.com.

Join the conversation: What lies do you hear whispered to you?

Formulaic God? NOT!

by Kathy Collard Miller

At a women’s retreat, a woman named Allison asked me, “What should I do when my husband says …?”

I gently responded, “If I gave you a formula to follow, how would that leave out God?”

At first, she was startled. “I just want to know how to head off a fight. What’s so bad about that?”

“I understand that, but how would that leave out God?”

After a few moments, she replied, “Well, I guess I could just depend upon the formula rather than looking to God.”

“That’s right. You would miss an opportunity to abide. Jesus said he only did what the Father told him to do. Do you think Jesus followed a formula? Was he always predictable?”

These thoughts were almost shocking to Allison. Since then I’ve begun making a list of the different ways Jesus responded as he abided in the Holy Spirit’s power. Wanting to do what his Father wanted him to do brought glory to God. Jesus’ varied responses reveal his care, love, and attention to the details of each person’s life. He knows them and is inviting them to know him.

Here are examples from the book of Mark. Jesus:

  • invited fishermen to become fishers of men (1:17)
  • rebuked demons (1:25)
  • took a sick woman’s hand (1:31)
  • healed the paralytic with a word of forgiveness (2:5)
  • reasoned with scribes who were reasoning … within themselves (Mark 2:8)
  • called Matthew with words “Follow me”! (2:14)
  • used parables to touch any receptive hearts (4:9)
  • hushed a storm (4:39)
  • allowed healing by a woman touching his hem (5:30)
  • invited disciples to participate in the provision of food (6:37)
  • walked on the sea to give peace and courage (6:50)
  • seemed like he was rejecting a Gentile woman before healing her daughter (7:27)

Additionally, in Luke 5:15-16, he left needy people behind to have a private time with the Father.

But my favorite example is Jesus’ sensitive response to the needs of a deaf and dumb man through sign language (Mark 7:31-37). Initially, the way Jesus responds to this man seems weird, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Theologian Sinclair Ferguson comments:

“The man could not hear Jesus and he was also incapable of verbal communication. So Jesus “spoke” to him in the language he could understand—sign language. The fingers placed in his ears and then removed meant, ‘I am going to remove the blockage in your hearing.’ The spitting and the touching of the man’s tongue meant, ‘I am going to remove the blockage in your mouth.’ The glance up to heaven meant, ‘It is God alone who is able to do this for you.’ Jesus wanted the man to understand that it was not magic but God’s grace that healed him.”

Jesus doesn’t respond with “one size fits all” actions. He chooses what’s best for each individual.

I would challenge you to make your own study of the different and unique ways God responds throughout the Bible. You’ll see his heart of love, grace, and other beautiful attributes. Remember, when you “see” Jesus in the New Testament, you are “seeing” God the Father.

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! Isaiah 43:1 NASB

Kathy C MillerAbout the author: Kathy Collard Miller is an award-winning author of over 50 books; this devotional is excerpted from Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory . She is a speaker who has shared in 8 foreign countries and over 30 US states. Kathy and Larry have been married for 48 years and are the parents of 2 and grandparents of 2. They live in Southern California and often write and speak together. Visit her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com. She would love to hear from you.

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash