I was listening to a fine preacher talking about some famous people. He had gotten off into the weeds to make a point and on the spot couldn’t think of several specifics. What he had forgotten didn’t make any difference to his point, so he moved on. But I didn’t.
Billy Graham was connected to Youth for Christ where I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord.
Laura Hildenbrand wrote the book, Unbroken. It is the story of Olympian Louie Zamperini who became a POW and then a disciple of Jesus. I heard him speak at a Youth for Christ meeting in Des Moines.
Forest Home Camp in the San Bernadino mountains is where Billy Graham worked through questions he had about the Bible. From there he went to the Los Angeles Crusade which established him as a national spiritual leader. The camp was established by Henrietta Mears who served at First Presbyterian in Hollywood, Ca as Christian Ed Director. Her counsel influenced Graham and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade. We studied her books on Christian Ed.
During my thinking and recalling those names and places, something stirred in a deep place in me. The word reminding is not translated from the Greek word Parakletos, (paraclete) but is an activity of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised.
“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (John 14:26—Amp).
What Jesus said Holy Spirit would come to remind us: “everything that I have told you.”
What I remembered was more than digital printouts. My soul was flooded with reminders of all I originally experienced and learned in the lives and experiences of those people.
On my desk is an unopened bottle of Guinness Beer. When I was reading the books about the Guinness family, I realized the missions they founded and encouraged—ministries, people, places had reached through the centuries to influence me. Judson Taylor was one of the missionaries the Guinness family advocated, and that name reached me as a boy through my grandmother’s radio.
The preacher mentioned Heidi Baker, missionary to Mozambique where she has to date introduced Jesus to over a million souls. Ms. Baker is part of our memories. She ministered in our daughter’s church and as a little girl our granddaughter went on stage to wave a worship flag and encountered those seeking God and participating in the ministry of Ms. Baker. All the experiences are stored in my soul in a bag of influential memories.
Six months ago, I began to utilize Philippians 4:8 to move my brain off anxiety-producers. If it is Monday, true is the trigger word if Wednesday, then just. Praise-worthy works every day.
Think On These Things:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” KJV
Philippians 4:8, ESV: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
We are not instructed to think about truth, or any of the other seven, academically or theoretically, but how truth or excellence has been lived out in us or exampled for us. Switching the mind to an alternative subject is not a catechism question, but like: What is true—who do I know who tells the truth as a lifestyle? What does the word true, honest, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, praise-worthy, remind you to do, say, believe, think, live? Think about that!
“Holy Spirit, remind me.”
The Psalmist said, “Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). The Psalmist did not have a Red Letter Bible to refer to as he calculated what God had said. He referred to what God revealed to him. In 1 Corinthians 12:8 Paul teaches about the “Word of knowledge.”
I grew up in a cessationist church. That means they believed when the New Testament was completed there was no longer a need for the gifts of the Spirit, so no one presented words of knowledge. They empathized Paul’s words: “decently and in order.” Interesting to me, at Cane Ridge it was the Presbyterians and Methodists who were shouting in tongues and shaking.
Carole, on the other hand, grew up in a church that believed all the gifts, graces, and fruit of the Spirit were still functioning. When a healing evangelist would minister in her church, she would sit behind a tall person or a pillar. She didn’t want to be called out about an affliction she did not even know she had.
I am not a cessationist. I passionately believe in The Gifts of the Spirit. All of them. Because I am wired the way I am, however, I push 1 Corinthians 14:39-40: “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.”
An aside here. I question (but not positive about every incident) that falling out or the holy jerks are the work of Holy Spirit. I tend to think Holy Spirit moves upon us and it is our bodies—nervous system and muscular system—that reacts to His touch.
I have used all the words above to lay groundwork for God’s revelation—word of knowledge—when we are distressed, confused, super-anxious and needing information. We can ask Holy Spirit to reveal the source of our own panic/anxiety/depression. Words of knowledge usually come through another person—a counselor, altar worker, a minister or someone in a koinonia prayer group, for a really good reason. But He is our Helper, Companion, Convicter and open to our request for help.
Holy Spirit, remind me. One of my singing companions would remind me that in any gathering of Jesus’ people where a need was unearthed, Holy Spirit would anoint someone to step into a Gift role to minister.
What did Jesus say or teach that you want to be reminded about when you are troubled? How about “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). I probably would respond, “Too late! It is already troubled!” How about Jesus stepping into your awareness as He stepped into the Upper Room and said=declared, “Peace!”
The reminding business can become personal, and should. What do you want to hear? What brings peace? What will coax you in off the ledge? Words that have been special to me and still carry healing influence:
“You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
Holy Spirit, Remind Me whose life influences me:
Our friend Beverly Mathews Coupe wrote this:
“My grandmother was a prayer warrior. She was taken to jail because of a prayer meeting a neighbor claimed was too loud. When she prayed, you didn’t want to fool around. The power of God and the presence of God was so strong it either made you want to run away or run toward it.”
Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome, Terry MacAlmon
Remind Me—Dottie Rambo (writer of song), Reba Rambo, Reba’s daughter/Dottie’s granddaughter Destiny. Recorded fifteen years or more ago.
Remind Me—Terry Blackwood
©2023 D. Dean Benton