Remembering the Past
Key Verse: Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” Joshua 4:1-3 (NASB)
Tonight, as I sit here to write, I face decisions. Decisions that aren’t even entirely in my hands. And the tendency to feel anxious and worry about what the outcome will be is strong. Will I make the right decision at the right time? How will it affect my relationships with colleagues? If I choose to make no decision, what impact will that have on me and my colleagues? Will I miss the opportunity I really want if I choose too quickly? Will I pass up a good opportunity if I decide to wait for an uncertain future? I feel a bit like Joshua as he had to take over leadership of Israel. He was facing decisions and uncertainty.
And so, in the midst of Joshua’s uncertainty, God did a miracle for Joshua. He parted the Jordan River when it was at flood stage. This was such a clear sign for Joshua that God would be with him as He had been with Moses. The miracles of parting water were so very similar. But then God added one thing to this miracle. He told Joshua to have one man from each tribe (12 men in all) go back into the river where the priests stood with the Ark of the Covenant. From that location, each man should take up one large stone and carry it to the site where they would make camp.
Why would God ask them to do something so strange? A few verses later, God tells Joshua that these stones would serve as a memorial to future generations of God’s faithfulness to His people. And so, tonight as I am tempted to worry, I sit and reflect back over the many, many times God has stepped into my life and met a need, given guidance, opened dors. And I remember. I remember that He is faithful. He parted waters more than once, He gave water from a rock more than once, He healed more than once, He raised the dead more than once. And I choose not to worry because I have a memorial to look back to.
As you read this, what is tempting you to worry? What are you facing that is causing anxiety? Can I encourage you with this thought: look back at the times God has been faithful. Faithful to others. Faithful to you. Build a memorial to remind you of those times.
Be still and know that He is God. Sit quietly and still your heart and mind. Slowly read through Joshua 4:1-7 again. Take time to meditate on these verses. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you are worrying about. What decisions need to be made or situations need to be dealt with? Be still for a moment. Know that what God has done before He will do again.
Praise God for who He is! Spend time worshipping God for His faithfulness. The Bible reminds us that He doesn’t change. It is His nature to be faithful.
Be thankful in all things! Thank God for everything He has done for you and & be specific. In everything give thanks. Thank Him for those times He has met your needs before. Thank Him in advance for meeting with you.
Repent: We all struggle with anxiety at times, but anxiety is the opposite of faith. Ask God to reveal to you any area in which you need to repent. Ask for forgiveness if you are feeling anxious and, then begin to thank Him for renewed life in Christ.
Present your requests before God: Boldly approach the throne of grace and ask your heavenly Father for those things that you both want and need. You have not, because you ask not. Allow God to place new desires in your heart as you confidently follow Christ! Present your requests to Him with thanksgiving, because this evidences faith.
Be still and Know He is God: Allow your mind and spirit to quiet down. Focus on God and listen to Him. Write down what you feel God is sharing with you. Be sure it does not contradict the Word. You find in Christ all you truly need. So as you sit quietly, turn your eyes on Him and as you remember His past faithfulness, allow this to build your faith.