A Place To Start Over

"'Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you,’ which is why this place came to be called Gilgal." Joshua 5:9

Early in biblical history, God sometimes designated specific locations as sacred to the people of Israel. Among them was a location called Gilgal, which Elijah and Elisha were at when Elijah was caught up to heaven in a sudden whirlwind.

Just three weeks into 2022, we need to be reminded of how God uses a place like Gilgal as important markers in our lives so we can experience new beginnings.

There was a huge sift in leadership when Moses died and Joshua became the next leader to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land. They crossed the mighty Jordan River and established Gilgal as a monumental site to commemorate their crossing. It was there that the Lord miraculously parted the waters of the swollen river.

This was a breakthrough moment! And the breakthrough was the presence of God that led them through the wilderness and into the promises of God. Never forget that our breakthroughs come because the presence of God leads us through our past and into our future by His grace.

After the Israelites reached the Promised Land, God told Joshua who was still in Gilgal, “’Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you,’ which is why the place came to be called Gilgal (Joshua 5:9).”

Imagine, four hundred years of bondage, abuse, slavery, and suffering and God removed all the stains of Egyptian abuse. Only God can roll away and remove the stains of the world that have marred and scared us. He can remove the guilt and grieve of our past so we can experience His physical and spiritual restoration.

Gilgal also represented the place where God marked their new beginning and new direction. Gilgal was not their final destination but was a place to get their bearings as they began exploring their new home.

We all need a place like Gilgal on our journeys of faith. Our Gilgal is God’s way of allowing us to come clean before Him and start anew. When we establish a symbolic Gilgal in our lives, we not only create an altar to praise and thank God for getting us to this point, but a place that reminds us that we are no longer covered by the shame, guilt, fear, regret and sin of our past.

In this New Year, think of your Gilgal the same way. Growth in your faith comes because you are bold and adventurous enough to learn from your Gilgal moments.

But keep in mind that getting to Gilgal requires patience and trust in the Lord. It’s a highpoint where we stop and look back over all we’ve experienced and how God has miraculously sustained us each step of our journey. It is a monument to God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Leaving Gilgal requires courage and even more trust in the Lord. As we continue to travel into the New Year, we rest at our Gilgal for our healing and restoration and then prepare to take our first steps toward the new destination that we take by faith!

God bless you,

Pastor Dave

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