David Powlison has written that "the only way we ever sin is by suppressing God, by forgetting, by tuning out his voice, switching channels, and listening to other voices. When you actually remember, you actually change. In fact, remembering is the first change."
Here are four examples from the Bible of how we actively forget God:
- By forgetting God's past works of salvation: "then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Deuteronomy 6:12).
- By believing lies instead of the Word of God: "This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the Lord, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies" (Jeremiah 13:25).
- By going after other lovers: "And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the Lord" (Hosea 2:13).
- By being satisfied with the temporary need of the hour: "but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me" (Hosea 13:6).
The challenge, then—and where the Spirit helps us—is to remember God and his promises. For more on this, see John Piper's post, "The Ministry of Reminding — Myself."