Back in 2007, I took my family on a month long vacation to see the Grand Canyon. This trip took several years of planning and saving, but it was worth every penny spent. From Skyline Caverns, Shenandoah National Park, the Great Smokey Mountains and the Ozarks, this was merely an appetizer before for the main course. Along way, dining in restaurants across the south western part of the United States was fascinating and surreal. This journey opened my eyes to the beauty of God’s creation within each of the 20 plus states I visited. Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave in New Mexico, the Indian Rock Cave and Trail near Fairfield Bay Arkansas, the Painted Desert in Arizona and Wind Caves National Park in South Dakota are must see destinations if you travel via car or RV. My one bit of advice is that you can’t see everything so pick a couple of places and savor each day you have while site seeing.
Moses recorded their points of departure, as the Lord commanded, stage by stage; and these are their journeys according to their points of departure, Numbers 33:2.
In the passage above, Moses recounts the journey Israel made from the Exodus out of Egypt to the Jordan River, waiting to enter God’s promised land. Earlier in this Old Testament book, Moses records the numbers of people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel who make this trek. Without modern equipment like moving vans and paved roads, the staging of half a million people was no easy task. Yet, with the Lord’s help along with the elders, Israel was on the verge of seeing one of God’s promises fulfilled. To a certain extent, recounting your previous steps helps you in the future if you face a similar project or task. Failing to develop this sort of practice may result in repeating the same mistakes of your past.
You have heard of my career and former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to hunt down and persecute the church of God extensively and [with fanatical zeal] tried [my best] to destroy it. 14 And [you have heard how] I surpassed many of my contemporaries among my countrymen in [my advanced study of the laws of] Judaism, as I was extremely loyal to the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when God, who had chosen me and set me apart before I was born, and called me through His grace, was pleased, Galatians 1:13-15.
In the passage above, the apostle Paul recounts the stages of his spiritual journey. Paul refers to three aspects of his life: before Christ, his conversion experience and how the Holy Spirit has changed his life since beginning a relationship with God. While this may be obvious to you, Paul realizes that everyone’s journey is different. Sometimes you succeed and other tests you fail miserably. Yet, its important to be real, reflecting upon the good and bad. If the journeys of Christians are perfect, the average person will feel unworthy, unattracted to faith in Christ. However, when believers publicly confess and share their shortcomings, James 5:16, healing can begin. While most people want to put on a good front, the world is hungry for honesty. Therefore, don’t miss out on the teachable moments the Lord gives you each day to recount the stages of your spiritual journey by sharing your testimony.
by Jay Mankus