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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Joshua . . . took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.”—Joshua 24:26 (NKJV)
Joshua has just charged Israel to flee idolatry and serve the God of Israel with all their heart. The people cry out in agreement that they will submit and obey all they’ve been told. But now Joshua does something interesting to reinforce their commitment to the Lord. He sets up a stone that would serve as an enduring reminder of all God had commanded them in this moment.
“And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.’”—Joshua 24:27 (NKJV)
Now, we all understand that this stone wasn’t capable of hearing anything, nor was there any intrinsic value in this stone, itself. But its value lay in what the stone represented. It stood for the sacred exchange between God and His people. The emotion of the moment would eventually wear off over time. However, the stone would not waver as the human heart is so prone to do. It would be a permanent fixture, a spiritual focal point, that would ground God’s people in their commitment to Him.
Our lives are also filled with similar moments, sacred moments with God, where our emotions run high and we sincerely desire to follow the Lord in all things. However, we need something more than this, we need something more permanent than our feelings to solidify such exchanges with the Lord.
I’m not advocating that we do exactly as Joshua did by rolling a rock into place each time we have a “God moment.” But there is something we can do to establish a tangible “witness” by which our commitment to the Lord can be reinforced. We can keep a journal, a running record where we write down everything that pertains to our relationship with Him.
A passage of Scripture, an insight into what we’ve read, an application to put the Bible into practice, a specific time and date, a prayer that’s on our heart . . . all these things are deserving to be preserved as a reminder of our interactions with God. Taking the time to do this is a sacrifice of time, but it will always be the price of spiritual victory because it will accomplish what Joshua understood it would do for God’s people, which is ground them in Him.
DIG: Why did Joshua do what he did here?
DISCOVER: How can we benefit from Joshua’s foresight to do this?
DO: If you aren’t already, consider how you can establish a journaling system for your spiritual life and who you can enlist to keep you accountable in doing this.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.