The bible is full of paradoxes, or things that seem to contradict themselves. The bible tells us to rest but also fight the good fight of faith. Are we resting or are we fighting? We are doing both. Jesus is God. When he was on the earth, he was Emmanuel or “God with us”. Was he a man or was he God? He was both.
Here is another one:
Philippians 3:13-14 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Psalm 77:11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
So which are we supposed to do? Are supposed to be forgetting or remembering? We are supposed to do both.
There is a challenge before us. It is hugely important that we learn how to forget. What horrible experiences have come upon us because we don’t know how to forget? At the same time you can miss out on God’s blessing and the enemy can knock your feet out from under you if you don’t understand the spiritual value of remembering. The reason many people are suffering today is because they are remembering things they should forget and forgetting things they should remember.
Joseph gave a great name to his first born son. His brethren tried to kill him, he ended up a slave, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him, he ended up in prison, forgotten in prison, but God still raised him up to the right hand of Pharaoh. He married a woman who was daughter of a priest in Egypt, and he named his first son Manasseh because he understood what God has done. He named him Manasseh, which sounded in the Hebrew language to forget because he said God had made him forget all the evil of his own household, and all the things that the people had done to him.
Genesis 41:51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
It wasn’t like amnesia, but rather, the sting was taken out. Instead of remembering and resenting his brothers, and resenting Potiphar’s wife, he could have hung her, and taken out his brothers if he wanted to. Joseph didn’t do that because God made him forget. Notice what God did. He can make us forget. There are 3 things He wants us to forget.
Does the Enemy try to remind you of your past?
Unforgiveness feeds on the memories of what people have done to you. How can we deal with unforgiveness?
In Psalm 77, the psalmist is going through a tough time. He feels God is not answering him. He’s going through a storm where not only has everyone left him but it seems God has left him. He thinks to himself “Ah, I know how to get out of this. I will remember the things you have done.” Satan will block you from doing that. He will make you forget every mercy, every answered prayer, every deliverance, every good thing God has ever done.
There is the example of the Israelites when God brought them out of Egypt to bring them into the Promised Land. He didn’t bring them out of Egypt so they wander around in the desert. They quickly forgot that God brought them out of slavery, opened the Red Sea, fed them manna every day, gave them water from a rock and so many other things. When it came time to possess the land, they forgot all the things God did.
Numbers 13:25 (NLT) 25 After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned 26 to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[a] and along the Jordan Valley.” 30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” 31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants[b] there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
So they spread a bad report now that word false there is translated false and in some translations is called an evil report. They gave a bad report among the Israelites about the land that they had explored. They said “that land doesn’t even produce enough to feed the people who live there.” That was false. “Everyone we saw was very tall and we even saw giants there. The descendants of Anak. We felt a small as grasshoppers and that is how we must have looked to them.”