The nation of Israel was continually shaped by the history of the Exodus. “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place,” Moses commanded them (Ex. 13:3).
As believers, we should also remember the great salvation that came through the work on the cross. Jesus, being obedient to the Father, humbled Himself to be like us in order to die for us. How then do we remain mindful of His work today?
“Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19). Communion immediately comes to mind, but unfortunately the routine of it can sometimes lead to dullness, instead of resonance—often due to our familiarity with God’s goodness and the reluctance to tread deeply in it.
In my experience, savoring salvation usually happens when we are desperately in need of it. The more dependent we are, the more obvious our need. Maybe a practical way of remembering God’s gift is to put ourselves in positions of total dependence—by serving outside of our comfort zones so that our weaknesses are evident to us. Then, God’s salvation is more brilliantly contemplated.
I imagine this is what happened to Timothy while he was in ministry under Paul. After acknowledging the saving work of God in Timothy’s life, Paul tells him to “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6). I take this to mean the evidence and history of God as a saving God spurs us on to ministry. Then, ministry wears on our bodies and souls, bringing us right back to the cross where our energies are found.
Consider the account of the two spies Moses sent to Canaan. Joshua and Caleb, when pressed with the difficulty of war against a greater people, remembered the promise of God during the great Exodus and trusted Him to be their protection (Num. 14:7-9). God saved them once, He would save them again, according to His word.
Serious ministry leads to serious meditation. The more we serve our Lord, the more desperate we are for His saving work. Whether it be public prayer, preaching, teaching, leading, or community evangelism, pressing ourselves to be spent for Christ makes us more mindful—and more grateful—of His salvation.