Could we really forget about God?

Forget God_Alarm clocks, the ding-ding in our cars reminding us to put on our seat belts, wedding rings, and strings around our finger are reminders that we need reminders.  I have forgotten all of the things I have forgotten.  My wife continually reminds of this thing or that.  It is a joke among my group of friends to not let Lee rely on his own brain. 🙂  And I have come to realize that they are correct.  My mind is not my friend when it comes to trying to remember things.  But what about something so paramount as my God.  Could I really forget Him?  Could you?

8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. (NIV 1984)
Exodus 25:8

When I think of how the Lord has been with the Israelites in Egypt.  He had heard their cries.  He had called Moses from a burning bush. Every denial of Pharaoh was answered by the strong word of the Lord through the plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, until finally the angel of death.  The Lord had been with them.  Pharaoh finally let them leave, but changed his mind.  They had come up to the waters of the Red Sea and could go no further.  They could hear the Egyptian chariots rushing quickly to overtake them.  And the Lord was with them again.  He blew back the waters for them to escape on dry ground and let the waters overtake the Egyptian army.  The Lord was with them.  The NIV translation as quoted above says that the Lord has them make a sanctuary and He will dwell with them.  The KJV translates it like this:

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (KJV)
Exodus 25:8-9

The change from ‘and’ to ‘that’ is a significant difference.  The KJV suggests that the sanctuary was necessary in order for the Lord to dwell with His people.  Well, which is it?  Is the sanctuary just a place for the people to meet with God or is meeting with God impossible without the sanctuary?

God is all around us all of the time.  He reminds us of His greatness through creation.  The vast beauty of the creatures we see, the landscapes and scenery that stop us in our tracks with grandeur, and the Heavens filled with stars arrest our spirit to ponder the greatness of our God.  In the New Testament, we are taught that even our physical bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  He is everywhere.  He is everywhere that I look and He is within me.  It is clear then that I don’t really need a tabernacle or church or prayer closet or anything else in order to meet with God.  Right?  Hello? Mcfly?

If that is the case, why is the Lord so set on us not giving up meeting together with one another.  Because He commands us to continue meeting together for worship, prayer, and teaching, we continue to erect buildings for this very purpose.  Churches are everywhere.  But do we really need them?  I can commune with the Lord in my own home, driving down the highway, anywhere really because He is everywhere.

When the Lord told the people of Israel how to arrange their camp out in the desert, the tabernacle was in the center of everything.  Their entire life was centered around this building.  How could they forget it?

The churches we pass by and attend are giant reminders.  Like strings on our finger, they draw our mind back to the Lord.  More than this, by going to church, we must stop everything else.  Granted in my church, I am sure that some are playing angry birds pretending to read their YouVersion Bible, but that is another story.  When we go to church, it forces us to stop the rest of our life, even if only for an hour.  And the purpose of this pause is to meditate on the Lord.  The answer the question is yes.  Yes, we can and do forget about God all of the time.  Even with everything around us and all of the reminders, we can easily go days, weeks, months, years not really giving Him any of our time.  We are children neglectful to our Good Father.

It is not that I need a tabernacle or the church to remember God.  It’s just that I need a tabernacle or church to remember God. Huh?  I shouldn’t need a reminder, it seems.  But our natural state is at one with the world and the world.  The spirit of the world is to continual movement and busyness.  Have we not seen throughout history, the one constant is increased busyness.  We are harried along by the spirit of the world which preaches the same message all of the time: Don’t slow down.  Work harder.  Work longer.  Success is found in this. (Of course, no one explained this to Dan Cathy, the founder of Chik-fil-a who closes every restaurant on Sundays to pause and remember the Lord.  Seems like they are doing ok.)  The world’s sermon continues teaching us to do more with our family.  The family will truly be happy if we are constantly going from baseball to piano, from football to PTA, from boy scouts to Little Dribblers.  Stay extremely busy.  Make sure your children participate in everything they desire and your will have a happy family.

The goal of this message is to keep us from being still.  Why?  Why is it that the spirit of this world wants us to keep moving?  Hmmmm?

“Be still, and know that I am God; (NIV 1984)
Psalms 46:10

As the nature within me hurries along to the pace of the world very naturally, I must be reminded to be still.  It is in the stillness of life that we are able to be intimate and truly know the Lord.  When sin corrupted us, we are designed to go, go, go.  Life a fish swimming in the currents of the ocean, it seems right, but it only leads to destruction.  We mustn’t forget God.  Church is that ding-ding of the car reminding us to put on our seat belts to save our life except the ding-ding of church reminds us to clothe our self in Christ to save our souls.  No, we don’t really need church, but without it we will forget.  We won’t be still.  We will be whisked away, far away.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV 1984)
Hebrews 10:25

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

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One comment on “Could we really forget about God?
  1. Playing Devil's Advocate says:

    I find it intriguing, Lee, that you’ve chosen Exodus 25 as your basis for the idea that God is unforgettable in our daily lives. Of course the Israelites could forget him… You listed the wonders of their release as evidence that forgetting God would be difficult, yet Moses hadn’t even come down from the mount before they had forgotten God, and even gone so far as to replace Him with a golden calf… So, yeah, I’m thinking that human nature will allow us to behave in an outright irresponsible, if not stupid manner when it comes to forgetting God…
    Regarding the change from “and” to “that” in Exodus 25:8:
    Such examples are common when comparing the KJV to more accurate translations of the Bible, and fall solely upon the differences in transcription of the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, into the KJV, as opposed to the translations of the Greek and Hebrew into modern English. When you’re dealing with a transcription, as opposed to a translation, this will happen often. The transcription may still be correct in meaning, yet incomplete in a literal sense.
    Regarding the busyness that you imply in the following paragraphs; There is a very dangerous idea that lurks beneath the surface of our modern society today; it is one of the most consequential ideas that drive our culture now, in fact, and one of the most deadly to the faith of the Christian…. It is theological in nature, though you must deconstruct it to its root to see this. Stated bluntly, it is the assumption that, even if God exists, He is largely irrelevant to the real business of life today. To put this somewhat more tactfully, our contemporary society and culture so emphasize human agency and potential; so focus on gratifying our needs and desires; that we are, for the most part, tempted to go about our daily business without giving God much thought. Indeed, we are tempted to live as if He did not exist, or at least, as if His existence did not matter with regards to practical, daily life matters. To succumb to this idea, and ideal, is to begin one’s descent down the path warned against in Romans 1! It is the beginning of the removal of God from our lives, in such a fashion as to eventually render us reprobate… Think about it. Do we, as Christians, take God into account with each decision that we make with regard to our business dealings? Do we consider Him when we sit down to watch television? Are we programming ourselves with those things which would edify us, or give us the information that we need to edify our brothers and sisters?
    And when did the norm for the Christians include our “church” buildings? Wasn’t that a post-Constantinian era thing? Do we have examples of first century Christians using anything other than believer’s homes as their meeting places? If so, I’d be interested to know where… I don’t see it. What would happen if the church in America were forced to function like the church in China? We would see very quickly who the “real” Christians are, I suspect. If a Muslim police squad stood on the doorstep of the average churchgoer today, and demanded that they submit their life as forfeit for their faith, how many would go on living, in shame albeit, but living nonetheless, for having denied Christ? I would like to think that the numbers would be pretty high up there, percentage wise, but I suspect, sadly, that they would be shockingly low. In fact, I’m certain that they would be. We’ve witnessed how very little like the first century church, the modern church functions. Benevolence is a thing of the past; there are government institutions to handle that, right? Ask a Christian to give up his 401K for the benefit of his indebted brothers or sisters, and see how quickly he will inform you that that is his money, for his retirement… What would it take to have a congregation that actually just took from its collective salaries, only what it needed to live, and gave the rest to the church to distribute where there was need? Were a congregation like that to be formed in America, and the idea to catch on, it could very well change the way we “do” church in this nation. While I agree with your idea, that church is necessary to remove us from our sin of busyness, I contend that unless the Holy Spirit gets directly involved, in such a manner that the “modern” church is shaken to its very core, then we’re casting pearls before swine, brother.

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