Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. . . . These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. (Josh. 1:7)

IMAGINE THE EXCITEMENT of finally being set free. You have finally accomplished a big hurdle in life, and it is time to get going. The Israelites knew this feeling well. They had successfully crossed the Jordan and were ready to conquer the land they had just entered. The natural reaction would be to get organized, get busy, and get going.

But God said, “Wait a minute.” He interrupted their natural instincts and asked them to worship Him first. He asked them to engage in the most important task for anyone following the God of creation—spiritual preparation. He instructed them to build an altar representing what God had done and also representing their twelve tribes so that generations to follow would remember God’s miraculous favor.

When you have accomplished some terrific feat, do you pause to give God the credit He deserves? If you are His son or daughter, you realize whatever it is that was done would not have been possible without His help. Take time to worship the One who loves and helps you. Be grateful. Acknowledge His mighty hand at work in your surroundings for both current and future generations to experience. The purpose of an altar is to have a place to meet with God. In this case, it was twelve stones. What will you say, do, or build as an act of gratitude to, and remembrance of, God?

Worship, then go.

Jim Dunn is the Executive Director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.