Everyone has their ‘war stories’ – accounts of special battles they have fought and victories won. As Christians we will start collecting such accounts from our own lives. The problem is that we often forget past victories just when we need to remember them most! God doesn’t want that to happen. He records many of His conquests in the Bible for us to read. For those in Joshua’s day He had another way of accomplishing this as well. God had one representative from each of the 12 tribes go back into the dried river bed and bring a large rock from it onto the land and put them into a pile (Joshua 4:1-7).
The purpose was to make a reminder to all of what had happened there. Every time they would see this unusual arrangements they would remember. Others would ask and then hear about God’s great works at that place. The place was named ‘Gilgal’ which means ‘circle’ of stones. It was a lasting testimony to what God had done there.
Do you have a pile of your own stones to remember your past victories and deliverances? They can be a great asset to faith when the next major difficulty comes. You can keep a journal and record what God has done. Marking special verses in your Bible can serve the same purpose. Keep a bulletin from a special service that really touched you. Or you can write down every good thing that happens on a separate slip of paper and put it in a thanksgiving jar to be read on Thanksgiving. Keeping an object that reminds you of the event is good, too, if you keep it displayed where you can see it and remember. Taking a picture and displaying it is another way to commemorate an event. These memorials are important. They help us remember and they are testimonies to others of the great works God has done.
The Jews also celebrated the Passover at Gilgal (Joshua 5:10). This was also a reminder of God’s great provision and deliverance. It reminded them of how God had delivered their nation from bondage in Egypt. Jesus Himself instituted the Lord’s Supper, which is built on and supersedes the Passover, as a memorial to His death and resurrection. Each of us should have our own memorials of what God has done, and we should remember them often. They will reinforce our faith for the next time it gets tested – and there will definitely be a next time!
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)