Monday, November 15, 2021

Spiritual Markers


“… that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever. And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.” – Joshua 4:6-9

I was talking with a friend of mine some weeks ago about a decision he was struggling with. I told him that I had been in his place many times in the past.  That he was standing at the spiritual River Jordan faced with a decision – obey God or shrink back in fear and doubt.  I reminded him of the two times that the nation of Israel stood at the Jordan. The second time – the crossed by faith – the first time they wandered because of their lack of faith. 

If you are a Christian – you will have stood at that same river, perhaps more than once. The first time you stood at the water’s edge was when you yielded your life to God by faith in Jesus. But that was only the beginning of your journey.  Dr. Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) calls those times Spiritual Markers. Occasions in our lives when we have a “crisis of belief”. We know what God has said and yet, we balk at taking stepping out on the journey He has called us to. I can recall being in a swimming pool with one of my children standing at the edge – water wings on their little arms – their eyes wide – as I said “Come on – jump, I will catch you!” It always took a bit of coaching – encouragement. They knew I would not ask them to do something that would harm them – yet – they could see the water and they had doubts. Eventually each of them made the leap – but like Israel – not always the first time they were presented with the opportunity. The same for us.

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw [a]that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” – Matthew 14:28-31

Perhaps like Peter – you made the leap and then began to doubt that you had chosen wisely when things did not seem to be going your way.  We, too often, forget that we are on a spiritual journey requiring faith and not sight and natural wisdom. That we must keep our eyes fixed on the One who has called us out of the boat. Our circumstances often tempt us to trust in ourselves and not in the Caller.

Do you have any stacks of stones that celebrate God and His power demonstrated in your life.  It does not have to be as momentous as the River Jordan backing up while at flood stage or walking on water – it may be something quite small that changed a life choice or something else – but it was something that required you to exercise your faith – to go against your flesh and human reasoning.   

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” – Isaiah 55:7-9

Resist the temptation to trust in your natural reasoning and practice to make spiritual decisions.

…. the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” –  1 Corinthians 2:14

You will know when it is God speaking and when it is not. The question is – will you have the faith to obey?

Think about it – Pray about it – Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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