Today I want to encourage you out of Joshua 4:1-7. In these verses the nation of Israel has just crossed the Jordan River…without getting wet! There was no bridge and they didn’t jump it! God caused the river, which was at flood stage, to stop flowing and it “piled up in a heap”. The Israelites walked across on dry ground! (You ever tried to stack water? It doesn’t work so good! Our God is amazing!) Once they were on the other side God instructed Joshua to have twelve men to go back into the river and retrieve twelve stones to represent each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were then instructed to set these stones up as “a memorial to the people of Israel forever”. Basically, the stones were to serve as a reminder of God’s power and faithfulness for generations to come. They were to be a way for Israel to look back at God’s past performance and draw courage to take their next step trusting in His future faithfulness!
This same principle of looking to God’s past performance to draw courage to take our next step by trusting in His future faithfulness should be at work in our lives! Think about all the ways God has been faithful to you! Just the fact that we are still alive today knowing all the stupid things we’ve done in the past should be enough proof of God’s past performance, or faithfulness, in our lives! Because of His past faithfulness we can courageously take our next step of faith!
We should also, by our steps of faith, be setting up memorial stones for those who are following us. Remember that every one is leading someone. We are all leading our children, our employees, our co-workers, our spouse, our friends, etc. We ARE all leading someone somewhere! The questions we should be asking is, “Where are we leading them?” and “What steps of faith am I taking that give tangible evidence of the faithfulness of God?” In other words, what memorial stones am I setting up for others to look at and see the reality of God!
When I took the step of faith to go from a business owner to full time ministry I had a tremendous amount of questions that all began with “what if”! Things like…”What if we can’t make it with me taking well over a 50% pay cut?” “What if I fail in ministry?” “What if I’m not discerning the leading of God correctly?” The list could go on forever! During that time there were two insights that served as catalyst to propel me forward in faith. The first was the memorial stones that God had already erected in my life. I looked back and saw all the ways God had already worked to bring me to that moment in my life! I knew that even if this next step seemed huge to me and much bigger than I had ever taken it was all the same to God! His past performance gave me confidence to trust in His future faithfulness!
The second insight that propelled me forward was the desire to erect memorial stones for my children and others to see. I don’t want to just talk about faith I want others to see the tangible expression of God as He works through my life! IT BRINGS HIM GLORY! I don’t want my children to grow up thinking about God like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny! He’s very real and He really works in our lives! Our steps of faith and the activity of God in our lives erects memorial stones, tangible expressions of the reality of God, for others to see! With those two insights I stepped forward and God was as faithful in the days ahead as He had been in the days before…imagine that!
I want to encourage you that He’s erected memorial stones in your life too! If nothing else you are still breathing and the sun came up today! That’s proof of His faithfulness and should give you confidence to move forward! Will you allow them to propel you forward in your next step?! God is good, faithful, and sovereign! Move with the confidence!
See you Sunday…Can’t wait to talk about Jesus!