long ago

Today's devotion from Joshua 23 & 24.

Joshua 23 and 24 bring to a close the life and times of Joshua. Chapter 23 records his challenge to the leaders of Israel to "cling to the LORD" so that they would not part from Him or His ways. In speaking to them, he reminds them of the fact that God had done everything He had promised. Therefore, they were bound to their covenant with Him.

Joshua 24 presents a different argument to a different group. In Joshua 24, he has assembled all the tribes. How is it that Joshua speaks to them? He tells them the story. "So Joshua summoned all Israel, including its elders, leaders, judges, and officers, and said to them, 'I am old, advanced in age, and you have seen for yourselves everything the Lord your God did to all these nations on your account, because it was the Lord your God who was fighting for you.'" (Joshua 24:2-3, CSB)

It is one thing to say, "God kept His promises." Joshua, filled with the Spirit of God, communicates in a way that will truly speak not just to heads, but to hearts. It is a completely different thing to give those promises names. To recall the people and places involved is to make remove the promises from some abstract thought and bring them to life. This is the power of telling your story.

Long ago, you were in a another place. You were another person. You were found in a different scenario. But through the course of countless interconnected events, God has woven your story together and made it part of His. There is power in this story.

Look at verse 14. Joshua challenges the people to respond, not because of academic learning or a warm fuzzy feeling, but to the truth of the story of their people. When you tell your story, God can and does use that to provide an opportunity to challenge people to believe. Celebrate your story. Tell your story.