Monday, September 10, 2012

Identity Embrace: Take Up Your Stones, Part I

"What do these stones mean?" (Joshua 4:6)
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At some point in the course of our lives, we will be asked this question.  It may not be phrased this way, exactly, but its essence will be presented: What did you take away from that experience?

Each day of our lives is a gift (Psalm 118:24).  Each of us is being led on a journey to make a unique difference for the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 2:10).  If you were asked to tell your story up to this point in your life, what would you say?  

In Joshua 3, God takes His people, the Israelites, on a journey across the Jordan River.  As I read this passage over and over again, it occurs to me that my own journey has shown solid evidence of God's hand, just as His hand was upon the Israelites then.  Just as His hand is upon your life.

God relates to us intimately; therefore, His influence over our journey is also intimate and unique.  He has much to teach us.  We have much to glean.  Here are some verses to ponder from this passage, when considering your story as related to the Kingdom of God:

(And I encourage you to read Joshua 3 entirely):

V. 3-4: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your are to move out from your positions and follow it.  Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before."

V. 5: "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."

V. 8: "See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you."

V. 15-16: "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest.  Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing...So the people crossed over opposite Jericho."

V. 17: "The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing upon dry ground."

Your identity is founded firmly on the One who will carry you through the heaviest and most violent of waters.  Your identity is built on solid ground.  Your identity is founded on the One who crosses over before you, walks beside you, and follows up from behind you.  

On Wednesday, Part II will touch on taking up your stones, from the next chapter of Joshua.  But for today, walk in the strength and mighty power of God to still the waters beneath you as He guides you peacefully across dry ground.

How has God worked out the above verses in your own story?   

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