At the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Ellel Ministries I looked back at some of the major things that God has done in the history of the ministry. I called them memorial stones – after the stones that were erected by the tribes of Israel when they crossed the River Jordan and entered the promised land (Joshua 4: 1-7).
God told Joshua to “choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan.” They were then to put them in a certain place so that in the future “when children ask you what do these stones mean?” you can say “these stones are a memorial to the people of Israel forever”. They were to be a permanent reminder of what God had done when they crossed over the river.
This is just one of a number of Scriptures which encourage us to always remember what God has done in the past and to tell the future generations. Many years ago, Tom Marshall, one of my favourite Christian writers, and a very much appreciated visiting teacher in the early days of the ministry, told me to tell every generation of people who come into the ministry the stories of how God established the work in the first place. It’s vital that they know where we have come from and can then be faithful to the work God has called us to do in the future.
One of the most significant of Ellel’s memorial stones was our first international conference, The Battle Belongs to the Lord. There were nearly 3,000 people present in 1990 at the Brighton Centre – it was a true watershed in the history of the ministry, having a massive effect on the lives of those who came.
Only this last week I met with a man who I thought I was meeting for the first time. But his opening words surprised me when he said. “It’s good to meet you again – I was at The Battle Belongs to the Lord!” But then he went on to explain that what God did at that conference had totally transformed every single day of the rest of his life!
He told of how the teaching changed his understanding of personal ministry and how God spoke to him about a radical change in direction for his future career. As a direct result he established a new and very successful business at the leading of the Lord and explained how today he is working with young people, helping them to get established in life and build their own business enterprises for the Kingdom of God. He told of hundreds of young people who had come to faith in Jesus – all of which, he said, was a direct result of what God did at the conference.
It was both very encouraging and deeply challenging to hear his story – to be reminded again of the event itself, but, much more than that, to realise how every day of our lives has the potential to impact someone else’s life for the Kingdom of God. None of us know what the fruit of that investment will be in the future.
I call these Kingdom links strands of destiny – things that God uses to envision people and move them into the place of His calling and service. I think that one day, when we compare notes in Heaven, we will all get a few surprises when we see what God did with what we offered Him! My meeting this week encouraged me to keep on pressing on with doing today what God asks us to do today, knowing that as we trust Him every step of the way, we will one day see our service in faith become a miracle of God as the strands of destiny are unfolded in eternity!