Memorials For The Marathon

Joshua 4:1-7, 23-24 (NLT) 1 When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. 3 Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. 5 He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

. . .
23 For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. 24 He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

You must build memorials for the marathon in your life. There must be pillars in your life that you can look back to and say, “THAT’S why I’m still running the race. THAT'S why I’m still serving Jesus – because of the great things he’s done in my life.”

Left alone, you will fall away from the Lord. You will not fall towards the Lord. Your nature will not draw you closer to Christ. It won’t do it. You need memorials to remind you how great God is and what he’s done in your life. You need to set those memorials up, not just for your benefit but for your children’s benefit, and for your grandchildren’s benefit so that you can inspire them to serve the Lord, so that you can inspire them to run the race no matter what.

A memorial in the Bible is always meant to be a physical sign of a miraculous work that God has done to remind us and to remind future generations that God did this. We have to have memorials for the marathon that point to the only One worthy of being pointed to – that’s Jesus Christ. It’s the power of God in our lives.
We have to remember what God’s done, and then we have to do something in our lives. We have to put down a pillar. Go to a place. Make a place where we can say, “That’s where God did this. Remember?” “Yeah, I remember.” And then we take our kids there. And then we take our grandkids there, and we say, “This is where God did this.”

In Joshua 4, verses 23-24, the Lord is pointed at seven times – and man is pointed at zero times. The Lord did this. The Lord did this. The Lord did this. There are no memorials to man. The God who parts the sea, the God who makes the flood rivers stand up like a wall, he’s the One we must focus on and teach the future generations to focus on. He alone, we follow. That’s the God who cares for you. That’s the God who keeps his promises. That’s the God who brings you victory. That’s the God who will never fail you. That’s the God whom alone you must follow. We have to tell ourselves this, and we have to tell the next generation that. And we need something to point at and say, “I met God right here. I saw God work right here.”

Then we’ll say to that son, or that daughter, or that grandson, that granddaughter, “If God did it for us way back then, he can do it for you today!” 

Look, Look! This is what God did! I can tell you from experience God will do it for you if you will follow him by faith.”

Follow with us in your Alone With God journal. You can order yours at:

Journal: Reread today’s verses. After thinking about them, in the Apply section of your journal, write down what the Holy Spirit is impressing on your heart for your life, personally and specifically. Write how the spiritual truths in this passage apply to your life today. Next, in the Respond section, write how you will respond to how the Holy Spirit applied God’s Word to your life today. What faithful, obedient action will you take today to make these truths real in your current circumstances? Spiritual, relational, or physical, how is the Holy Spirit calling you to respond? And finally, in the PRAY section, complete your time alone with God in prayer. Write your prayer according to what God has impressed on you and what you have experienced in his presence today. Pray to align your heart with God’s will, and thank him for meeting you today right where you are.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for not only going before us and for giving us Jesus Christ as our Savior, but also for doing great miracles in our lives. Help us to recall them, create a memorial for them, and share them with our children and grandchildren. You alone are God. You alone are the one who works in our lives. We thank you and praise you for it. In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen.

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