What is Worship? – Part 8

How’s your memory? If you’re like most of us, your capacity to remember things seems to diminish over time. It’s almost as if the hard drive is full and a few bytes have to be erased if any new data can be taken in. It’s sad and frustrating to think that when we reach a place where we have so much to remember, our ability to do so starts declining.

Memory, and the ability to act on it, is one of the great gifts given to humanity. Yes, many in the animal kingdom can develop some evidence of remembering, but theirs is tied more to muscle memory or habit development, such as the rodent ringing the bell to gain a food pellet. But does that rat ever choose not to ring the bell and search for other food options? It seems more likely that his trained response is not as voluntary or intentional as our own decision-making.

So what does this have to do with worship?

For us, the memory is one of our greatest spiritual weapons. When we remember the road we’ve been on and the goodness of God in that journey, we find ample cause to praise Him. In fact, that’s our fifth and final component of biblical worship–remembering and praising.

Throughout Israel’s calendar, God sprinkled various feast times designed to remember the significant moments of their journey. Passover celebrated deliverance from Egypt. The Feast of Tabernacles recalled His faithfulness in the desert. Again and again, their memories were exorcised so that their current faith would be encouraged.

Memory can have the same role for us. When we remember what God has done, we strengthen our grasp on what He can do in our current moments. When we turn our memories into praises, we connect the dots, revealing God as our Source.

It’s quite a statement to insist that the Creator is active in our individual journeys, but the more we recognize His hand, the more we learn to trust His purposes for our lives. So there should be much in our worship that flows from finishing sentences like, “Do you remember when God…”

So dust off some of those memories. Find a way to incorporate them in your daily thoughts. Let what you’ve learned yesterday inform your moments today. For indeed, God is a God of history. He has revealed Himself in previous moments…even yours.

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