Mark your moments

Read: Genesis 12-14, Matthew 5:1-26

Genesis 13:4

At significant moments in his live, Abram would build an altar. In the first few chapters of his story, he builds two and even returns to one. Abram built altars to mark the places where God spoke to or appeared to him. And where God spoke to him, Abram offered sacrifices and thanksgiving.

There are some things in life we should just forget about all together—faults and failures. But there are other things in life we should remember. When God speaks to us or when we have a moment of clarity or revelation, we should mark it. Like Abram, we may need to return to that place so that we can recall God’s faithfulness to us.

But aren’t we running a race? 

Yes, we are.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

We need to forget the things that would hold us back and remember the things that push us forward. A runner cannot forget all that he has learned in his training if he is going to win the race. And we cannot forget all that God has done for us if we want to continue running toward His calling. If we forget why we’re running, we will stop altogether.

We shouldn’t always be in a rush from one mountaintop experience to the next. There are valleys in between that we may need to walk through as well. And in those valleys, we should be able to look back and remember the heights from which we came. Those moments on the mountain, and sometimes in the valley, should be marked so that we can give thanks in the moment and look back to remember and gain the momentum we need to finish the race.

Mark it

Have you ever set your mark on something? Of course you have! Even if it was as a kid making sure your name was ever visible on a school book or perhaps your mother marked your backpack for you. No matter who did it or how it was done, it was yours. Marked.

God wanted Israel to mark the Promised Land. Right away. As soon as they entered it. Not when they conquered it—when they arrived in it. He commanded that massive stones be erected and the law written upon them. I imagine this would have been the ancient version of Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon. We were here! This is ours!

I believe that, in the same way the USA marked the moon and Israel would mark Canaan, God wants to make His mark on our hearts. The image that immediately comes to mind is of a row of four tiny lines with another crossing over. Tiny marks of counting. But that isn’t how God wants to mark our hearts. He doesn’t just want to mark us, he wants to leave His mark like the standing stones of Israel. He wants it to be obvious that we belong to Him and no other.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

If I trust God with my entire heart, I’m giving Him a lot more room than just space for ticks to mark the day. I’m giving Him room to set up His marker. The Song of Solomon says I am my beloved’s, and he is mine. When you belong to someone and that person belongs to you, you make it obvious—you wear a ring or get a tattoo.

If we have given Him our hearts, the mark of God on our lives should be obvious.

Daily Bible reading: Deuteronomy 26-27, Mark 15:1-26