In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
—2 Timothy 2:20
This is the ninth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Last week, I talked about God appointing Joseph to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness. After leaving the wilderness, the first place they camped at was Gilgal (Joshua 4:19).
Gilgal has two meanings. It’s Hebrew for “circle” and “wheel.” “Circle” symbolizes that God brought them full-circle. They would no longer have to go around the same mountain over and over again. “Wheel” symbolizes that God rolled away the reproach of Eqypt. They would no longer carry the shame and disgrace of their former captivity.
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.
I did a Bible study recently about believing God to bring us to our Gilgals. In the study, God showed me a few of my Gilgals where He brought me full-circle and rolled away my reproach. One Gilgal was in my marriage. My husband and I had marriage problems from the moment we said “I do.” We never wanted anyone to know because we were ashamed, so we kept it hidden for many years. We continued around the same mountain of defeat year after year. We never thought we’d see victory.
God was faithful and He worked through the years to heal our marriage. And in April 2009, He led me to write a book about it. It took me two and a half years to write the book. During those two and a half years, our marriage was tried even greater than in the past. A month before the book’s release our marriage hit a wall. We had to make a choice. Either we bust through it, or turn back in defeat and go back around the same mountain again. Instead of turning back, we pressed through it and God gave us victory!
God brought us full-circle and finally broke the cycle of defeat in our marriage. He not only took away the reproach and brought us victory, but He also produced seeds for us to sow into other marriages. The first six months of the book’s release, God provided for us to give away over 10,000 copies of the book! That’s 10,000 seeds God made possible for us to plant!
The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!
We had to experience defeat first in order to experience victory. First Corinthians 15:36 says, “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” And Jesus said in John 12:24, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
What seeds would I have been able to sow had my marriage been alive and perfect all along? Sure it was painful to go through that trial. When something is dying, it hurts. But now that I’ve seen the miracle God’s worked in my marriage, and the seeds it’s producing, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am no longer ashamed to talk about my marriage problems. God has rolled away the reproach.
… The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
1 Corinthians 15:42-43
I want to encourage you not to despise the trials you’re going through as God’s leading you into your calling. Let God bring you full-circle to your Gilgals. He will give you victory, roll away the reproach and bring a harvest like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Then the reproach you once despised will be the seed you cherish the most!
Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing while they harvest.
Psalm 126:5, GW
I praise You for giving us victory in Christ! Bring us to our Gilgals, so we don’t have to go around the same mountain over and over again. Roll away our reproaches and turn them into seeds for us to plant, so You can produce a bountiful harvest in our lives and the lives of others.
In Jesus’ name, we praise You! Amen!