Let’s call this story, “The Kid in the Car.”
Imagine a father promises to take his little daughter to Disney World. The child gets in the car but after a few miles, she starts asking, “Are we there yet?”
The father says, “Not yet” and keeps on driving toward Disney World.
However, the child soon get bored and starts murmuring to herself: “He’s just driving around to fool me. He’s never going to get me to Disney World.”
She looks out the car window, but doesn’t see any sign of Disney World. All she sees are trees, billboards, and the occasional small town.
She feels discouraged.
After a couple of hours in the car, she starts imagining the worst of her father: “I’ll bet he doesn’t even know where he’s going!”
They stop along the way to have a meal. As they return to the car, the child says to herself, “That food was terrible. I want to go back home. Forget about Disney World.”
Before she gets back into the car, she grumbles to her father, “Why did you bring me out here? It was better for us at home. The seat is uncomfortable in the car, plus I’d rather starve to death than eat more food like that. Why don’t we turn around and go back?”
The father is surprised. “But didn’t you say you wanted to go to Disney World? I already paid for the tickets and I took time off from work to take you. We are going have a great time. Trust me. I’ve been there before and I know you’ll love it.”
The child says, “I don’t care how you feel. This drive is just too uncomfortable. The food was better back home. I don’t want to go to Disney World anymore.”
Then, she shrugs her shoulders and turns her back on her father, “I don’t believe you can get me to Disney World anyway. Somebody else can take me someday. Let’s just turn around and go home.”
- What would you say about such a child?
- How do you think the child’s attitude would make the father feel at that moment?
I believe that many in the body of Christ act like the “Kid in the Car.” We are God’s children, after all.
It saddens me to admit that I’ve been the Kid in the Car at times on the way to some of God’s promises!
In the past, I’ve been discouraged, grumbled about uncomfortable circumstances, and doubted the Lord’s ability to drive.
I thought about returning to the way I came, deceiving myself into thinking my past was safer, even though it was anything but safe for my health.
However after many years, the Lord changed my mindset, in particular regarding reaching my ideal weight. One morning, I woke up with the following phrase in my mind:
Don’t forget to remember.”
In the Bible, God’s people got in trouble when they forgot about God’s character, what He had done for them in the past, and his presence in their present.
If you recognized yourself in the “Kid in the Car” story, then the following 2 tips will help you change your mindset into confidence that the Lord will get you to your Promised Land in due season.
1. Remember God’s faithfulness in your past
In the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy, the Lord declared Himself as He who “brought you out of the land of Egypt” often. Here is a snap shot of the Israelites’ lives in Egypt:
- They were in slavery in Egypt
- They feared the Egyptians would murder their sons in Egypt
- Their lives were bitter with bondage in Egypt
- They served with rigor in Egypt
- They groaned and cried in Egypt
However, the people did not remind themselves God’s deliverance from these deathly conditions often. So they complained about and rebelled against the Lord repeatedly.
Even worse, they wanted to go back to a place of misery!
Because they did not take time to remember, they feared their present circumstances above fearing the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 advises us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
I define “fear of the Lord” as reverencing, honoring, and respecting the Lord enough to do what He says. In a previous article, we defined “despise” as judging something or someone as not worthy of notice or consideration.
Because the people did not reverence, honor, nor respect the Lord daily, they judged the wisdom and instruction He gave them as unworthy of notice and consideration.
They ignored the Lord’s wisdom and instruction repeatedly, so they found themselves in back in bondage repeatedly!
When my husband Mike and I met, we were delighted to discover that we both had habits of recording what God had done for us in a journal. It is a habit that we still continue together as a married couple.
We write down blessings that the Lord did for us so that we don’t forget. During times of trouble in our circumstances, we can always pull out our “Journal of Testimony” (aka JOT book) and review what we have written.
This helps to build our faith and confidence in the Lord. We remind ourselves that if the Lord delivered us once, he can do it again.
To remain strong during these times of world shaking, take time each day to mentally rehearse God’s faithfulness to you. If you do not ingrain habits of remembering deliberately through daily practice, you will surely forget.
It won’t be long before you’ll fall into fear, complaining, and ingratitude.
2. Remember God’s presence in your present
I strive to practice two scriptures every day because I want them manifested in my daily life:
- “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).”
- “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).”
I don’t ever want to forget the Lord! So when it comes to Him, I am a clingy person.
He doesn’t mind because according to Deuteronomy 30:20. God wants His people clingy!
Be diligent to thank the Lord for small pleasures in your daily life. If you make a habit of showing your appreciation for Him, then you’ll be quicker to praise Him for the bigger blessings!
With a heart of full of daily thankfulness, God’s presence will be stronger in your life. You will experience great joy in knowing the Creator of the universe wants to have a daily, intimate relationship with you.
God reminded the people of His presence in the Old Testament, as in these scriptures:
- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).’
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).”
Many people say that they do not know God’s will for their lives. Rather than focus on what is unknown, focus on doing what is known daily! God’s will for you is to give thanks in everything – whatever situation you are facing today.
This necessarily doesn’t mean you are thankful for it right now; you may be discouraged or grieving for the situation. But you can always be thankful in it that the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you.
Don’t be like the “Kid in the Car” who was ungrateful and complained about where her father was taking her, even though she said she wanted to go! Take time daily to set your mind on remembering the Lord your God. You never want to forget about Him.
Remember God’s faithfulness to you in the past through writing down your stories about what the Lord has done for you in the past.
Remember God’s presence in your present through maintaining a thankful heart every day.
When you do these things, you will have strong faith that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you in due season!
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program