The Danger of Forgetting
By John David Hicks
When it comes to forgetting, James warns us, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23-24).
James pictures for us a man with a dirty face and messy hair, who after looking in a mirror forgets what he looks like. If he fails to do something about it, he is foolish.
It is just as foolish to look into God’s Word and make no changes in your life. When you know a truth but don’t put it into practice, you become unresponsive to it. It has no power or authority in your life. God honors those “who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).
The GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The reality of Satan’s defeat makes our redemption possible (Rev. 12:11; Acts 10:38). “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant” (2 Cor. 3:5-6). In this new covenant God declares, “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Heb. 8:10).
This new covenant gives you the legal right and authority over Satan, making you “more than a conqueror” through Jesus Christ your Lord. You have been redeemed from your sins on legal grounds from Satan’s kingdom to God’s. You have been given the gift of righteousness with the legal right to come boldly into the throne room and take your place as a son. You have the legal right to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling as the temple of God. You have the legal right to use the name of Jesus in prayer. Jesus has given His authority to you, His body. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Col. 2:9-10).
These truths were foundational to the Christians of the New Testament. They created an atmosphere of faith in the church that was infectious. Today, however, these truths have been neglected or forgotten by much of the church. The enemy is always seeking to define you by your past, so you need brothers and sisters who will declare to you the truth of your identity as an overcoming child of God who can destroy the works of Satan. If the enemy can divide, isolate, or discourage you, he can conquer you. Affirming your identity in Christ and encouraging one another in the community of faith is foundational to your life and witness.
YOUR CONFESSION AND FAITH ARE BASED ON GOD’S PROMISES IN THE BIBLE. God has said, “I am watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 NASB).
Your faith with confession calls faith into reality. Abraham by faith believed God, “who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist” (Rom. 4:17 NASB). All believing climaxes in confession. Believing and confession are practically one. What does the Scripture say: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming” (Rom. 10:8). Your faith can never go beyond your confession. “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:10 NASB).
When you by faith arise and take your place “in Christ,” the gates of hell will be broken down and strongholds will be “conquered through him who loves you.”
TO BE “IN CHRIST” MEANS that I am a new creation, born into the family of God (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3). As God’s child I am a partaker of His life and nature (2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 4:4). I am united and one with Christ as the vine and branches (John 15:5; 17:21). I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). I have His strength and all my needs will be supplied according to God’s riches (Phil. 4:13; 4:19). I have grace to be an overcomer (2 Cor. 9:8; Rev. 12:11). I have the anointing of the His Spirit to do God’s will (1 John 2:20, 27; 1 Cor. 6:19; Phil. 2:13). “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
The danger comes to you as a believer when you confess, “I am in Christ.” The devil gets upset and is deeply troubled by your confession, because he knows the power and authority you have “in Christ.” In Helps to Holiness Samuel Logan Brengle put it this way: “Many people who say they are fighting the devil do not know what fighting the devil means. It is a fight of faith in which you take hold of the promise of God, and hold on to it, and believe it, and declare it to be true in spite of all the devil’s lies, in spite of all circumstances and feelings to the contrary, and in which he obeys God, whether God seems to be fulfilling the promise or not. When a soul gets to the point where he will do this, and will hold fast the profession of his faith without wavering, he will soon get out of the fogs and mists and twilight of doubt and uncertainty into the broad day of perfect assurance.”
Satan’s temptation to Jesus and to you is to doubt that you are loved and accepted as God’s child. “If you are the son of God,” he says, “prove it.” God has said to Jesus and to you that you are His beloved son. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph.1:6 NKJV). John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.”
Don’t forget that you are “in Christ,” a part of the fruit-bearing body of Christ (John 15:5). The branch is completely dependent on the vine to be loved, accepted, and made righteous. Abiding brings the branch into relationship with the vine. Jesus said, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9 NASB). “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Thank the Lord that you are “in Christ,” and are abiding in His presence. Be aware of it.
Being “in Christ” not only makes you victorious over the evil one, but also makes you like Jesus, so you can complete the task of bringing the kingdom of God to earth (Matt. 6:10; John 14:11-14). When you are aware of who you are “in Christ,” there will be a bold confidence in your walk in Christ. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).
The danger comes from looking into the Word of God and forgetting who you are “in Christ!” So with confidence, declare with David, “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with Love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…. Praise the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103:2-5, 22).