Marking His presence
God Was Here!
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
Remember how in high school you just felt compelled to carve your name into one of those gum-encrusted desks in study hall or some tree on the school lawn?
I never did, but I thought about it and I recall many others scrawling their initials for posterity. Then, days or even years later, have you ever gone back to that place to see if your name remained?
There is something in us that wants to make a lasting mark on our world. We want to be personally remembered. We have this desire to be memorialized for generations to come.
Our feeble artwork is a pale reflection of the God whom we serve: God really does understand that desire to be known and remembered, and even revered. After all, He has inscribed us on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) and He also has the names of all who call on the Lord Jesus in the great Lamb’s book of life (see Revelation).
But He doesn’t just want to remember us. He wants us to remember Him and the great things He has done for us.
He knows that we are limited as humans and prone to forgetting His faithfulness, even soon after He has done tremendous things for us (think the Israelites in the wilderness who kept forgetting how God brought them out of captivity). As physical beings, we need a tangible reminder of His presence, that “X marks the spot” of His love, care, and direction in our lives, so He sometimes asks us to fashion a visible marker of His amazing power and provision. This marker builds our faith and glorifies God. It’s a win-win.
Now, it might not be an etching on a school desk or locker. It probably won’t be writing on some wall either, but whatever it is, it will loudly and unmistakably scream, “God was here!”
I think back to Joshua in the Bible, as an example. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River safely—each one witnessing those river waters miraculously piled up in a heap as they walked through on dry ground—God told Joshua to get the 12 specially selected men to pick up 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River.
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever" (Joshua 4:5-7, NIV).
Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day (Joshua 4: 9, NASB).
A rock monument showcasing God’s faithfulness and miraculous power for generations to come—that’s what Joshua obediently orchestrated, according to the will of the LORD.
I often wonder what that pile of rocks looked like. Was it ornate or was it simply a stack of stones precariously balanced one atop the other? I find it interesting that the Bible doesn’t specifically describe what this memorial should look like. And maybe there is a point to that. We humans are much more concerned about outward appearances than God. He is always more interested in our hearts. The point isn’t how beautiful this makeshift memorial was. The point is how obedient and thankful the Israelites were to the God who delivered them.
How about you? Have you stacked up your proverbial pile of stones to mark a key spiritual event in your life? Have you established some visible reminders that broadcast to you and your posterity that the God whom you serve is truly awesome and deserving of praise?
If not, perhaps it is time to ask the Lord, “How can I remember You, O Mighty One? How can I honor You for the wonderful things You have done?”
God might not ask you to build something out of stone or even brick, marble, or granite. Your symbol of thanks might come in a different form. The only thing that truly matters is that you continually honor Him in the way He wishes.
God is so worthy of our praise. He never forgets us, dear ones. So let’s never forget Him.
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How to Give Your Life to Christ:
1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.
2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and
rose from the grave.
3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only
way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your
What to Pray:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe
that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave
to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now
I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please
forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In
Jesus' name. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please send
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with you and send you some resources to help you begin your
walk with the Lord.
Laura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.
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