Larry and I were bemoaning the fact we study but can’t remember what we studied.
Larry and I were commiserating with each other as we looked at the piles of books we’d read in preparation for writing our next book. Only knowing we had done lots of underlining gave us confidence we would be able to refer back to the important material we would be using.
We both wished we could apply every day the amazing truths we’ve read over the decades of following Christ. It is discouraging to think that we can’t remember everything we’ve ever taken in.
But then I said to Larry, “Maybe we can think of it this way. We can’t remember what we had for dinner three years ago, but it nourished us at the time and became a part of us.”
It’s the same way with reading the Word of God or other worthwhile books–or the sermon we heard on Sunday. The Spirit of God applies it to our lives at that time and builds us up spiritually and mentally. We may not remember everything but it has become a part of us.
Now, certainly, we should take the time and effort to recall and re-concentrate on important truths. We also need to respond in obedience to what we hear and read. Those are the elements for truth to be powerful in our lives. But don’t be discouraged if it seems you remember so little over a long period of time. The Spirit of God is faithful to apply it all for the edifying of our spirits. We may not even remember what work He did, but He has.
Hebrews 4:12 assures us,
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (NASB).
If we’ve cooperated with the Spirit as we responded to what we read and heard, the heart surgery has already occurred. We have been changed and as we continue to seek and grow, the results will be revealed.