Are You Ready?
We’re just a couple days away from celebrating together four decades of Trinity Fellowship Church. Our theme this year is “Ready.” We believe God has led us this far, and so we celebrate his working in our history, but even more this realization should cause us to look forward, eagerly anticipating where God will lead us in the days and years ahead.
So, are you ready? That question may drive you to think of your own strength and sufficiency, or lack thereof. Am I fully prepared? Are all my spiritual ducks in a row? While being ready certainly implies action of some kind on our part, it’s really all about God’s action, not our own. He is the one working, He is the one leading, and we are invited to follow. So being ready isn’t about our preparedness or knowing exactly what’s ahead. It’s about being open and willing to follow our God who is prepared and who knows exactly what He’s doing.
When Israel finally crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, God told Joshua to set up stones from the river as a memorial of all God had done. Despite their failure and weakness, God was faithful to lead them through the Jordan on dry ground. Twelve stones, one for each tribe, to remind them. This memorial was a looking back of course, but it was a looking back to equip them to follow God in the present and future.
“21 And he said to the people of Israel, ‘When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.’” – Joshua 4:21-24
Notice how Joshua frames the purpose. To remind them of what God did in the past, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” A testimony to the world, and a testimony to God’s people that God’s faithfulness yesterday means we can trust Him tomorrow.
This Sunday is a looking back on 40 years of God’s faithfulness to us. But it is a looking back so we can look ahead. We can’t stop with reminiscing or in dwelling fondly on past successes or dwelling sadly on painful seasons. All of that is part of our history, but our history has implications for our future. Sunday we have a chance to come together and open our hearts in celebration and anticipation. Looking back to look ahead. Are we ready?