Maybe, it’s time.
Perhaps it is time to stop moving in a particular direction and drop down and roll.
Right here. Right now.
I’m not describing any kind of PiYo stretch, gymnastics’ move, or calisthenics operation. Or even a cinnamon roll or a sushi roll.
The rolling movement that I think we need addresses heart and will.
I’m asking for a Roll Call!
This week, at our team’s PCS (Prayer-Care-Share) time, I led a devotional on the significance of a place called Gilgal.
Honestly, my heart never stirred at the mention of this place in Scripture in all my years of Bible study. However, if you do a quick word search in the NIV, you’ll find 39 verses that mention Gilgal. And perhaps, when you do, your jaw may drop and your heart may leap just like mine did!
Gilgal is first mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy when the LORD commands the Israelites to cross the Jordan into the land of the Canaanites to claim their Promise Land.
And the Lord said, “As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.” New International Version, Deuteronomy 11:30 – 32
In time, when the Israelites reached this river, the LORD parted the waters of the Jordan and Joshua led the Israelites through the miraculously dry river bed and up its banks. The new nation then set foot upon the place that would be known as Gilgal.
On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.
He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” New International Version, Joshua 4: 19 – 24
The LORD provided the nation of Israel with a physical place of remembrance. Gilgal, just a few miles northeast of Jericho would serve as a reminder of the care, provision, strength, and miraculous power of the LORD on their behalf. Gilgal became a point of refuge for Joshua and his army. They would set out from Gilgal to engage in battle and then return to Gilgal in victory (Joshua 10: 15, 43). In the years ahead, Samuel the Prophet would come to Gilgal to pray and bring sacrifice to the Lord (1 Samuel 7:16). It was at Gilgal that Saul, the first Israelite king was recognized and dedicated (1 Samuel 11: 14-15). Gilgal was also the location where Samuel chastised Saul for his disobedience (1 Samuel 15). Many years later, it was near Gilgal that Elijah was lifted to the heavens (2 Kings 2:1).
And it was at Gilgal, where the LORD challenged His people to roll.
Israel was ready to move forward and claim the Promise Land. With the Jordan River behind them, the Israelites believed they were now prepared to confront the challenges ahead in Jericho.
They were wrong.
The Lord reminded them of their broken covenant with Him. The Israelites had birthed, lived, walked, and died in the desert over a 40 year period. Its elder generation had failed to keep its promise to the LORD to circumcise their children who were born in the desert. The LORD shared that without this covenant, this new generation could walk no further to Jericho.
There would be no advance and no victory without obedience.
Joshua called all the sons and sons of men to be circumcised. Once every obedient cut was complete, it was then that the Lord declared,
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. New International Version, Joshua 5: 9-10
The Hebrew meaning of Gilgal is to roll. To roll upon, to roll into alignment, to roll away are the literal meanings of this word. However, in the illustrative sense of our faith walk, it means to roll ourselves onto the Lord in trust and obedience. This rolling is actually a circular motion of joy which highlights our God’s workings in our lives. We recognize and give praise to God’s amazing attributes when we are living in a covenant relationship with Him.
For the Israelites, Gilgal was recognized as a significant meeting place with God.
A place of new beginnings – a place to set off from and return
A place of repentance – coming to grips with sin and disobedience and making things right
A place of remembrance – praising all the attributes and workings of our God
A place of sacrifice – recognizing the cost and honoring the blood sacrifice of our Savior
A place of change – choosing to identify with Christ and be who He asks us to be
A place of joy – celebrating God’s goodness and blessing
A place of refuge – resting in God’s protection and care
A place of friendship and relationship – enjoying God’s Presence
The nation of Israel would not be allowed to take one step forward without first rolling up and onto their God.
They needed to roll before they could walk, before they could fight, before they could win!
As I have considered this place called Gilgal, I am reminded that I have similar places and moments in my own faith walk that have served as points of remembrance of God’s workings in my life in wondrous ways! My Lion Testimony is certainly a Gilgal Moment!
For a Gilgal moment, a Gilgal place brings us into a fresh awakening with our God.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place stops us in our tracks – not allowing us to move forward until we are ready to listen, respond, and then move with our God.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place requires trust and obedience.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place is a time of reckoning.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place challenges our fears and anxieties.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place asks us to let go – to move forward.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place blesses us with heartening joy.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place transforms our hearts and minds.
A Gilgal moment and a Gilgal place offers spiritual health and refuge.
Who doesn’t want that?
Friends, I believe it’s time that we roll!
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have every confidence that is found in Him!
What are your Gilgal moments and Gilgal places in your life?
Is this a Gilgal point in your life now – I think so – actually!
At no other point my lifetime, have I seen the greatest need for Believers to roll with their God and trust Him for their future!
This is not the time to fear, to moan and groan, to complain or to worry about what is ahead of us.
This is a time to stop.
This is a time to reflect and pray.
This is a time to ask for forgiveness and make amends.
This is a time to ask God what is needed before we go one step further!
Now, is the time to roll with our God!
Are you with me?
Image retrieved from BestofPicture.com