Previously I wrote about ‘Spiritual Markers’ and one of the first questions asked was “How do I identify Spiritual Markers in my life?” They are things, events, scents, pictures and symbols that remind us of significant events, truths, seasons or decisions in our lives.
For example, butterflies remind me of a season in my life when I received the True Color Promise and a rooster reminds me to look for God’s new mercies every morning. Apple and cinnamon remind me of holidays with my grandmother. I celebrate events like Easter and Christmas to remind me of significant events in my beliefs. Communion reminds me of the significance of my salvation as it pertains to my daily life.
So here are some guidelines to identify spiritual markers in your life:
- Spiritual markers are reminders. Reminders of life altering events, or major decision taken at various points in our lives. They are markers of God’s activity. Like Noah building an altar after the flood (Gen 6-8). Or feasts that remind us of specific events that have spiritual significance, like Passover for the Israelites. They may be annual activities that take us to remembrance of significant events e.g. Ascension Day or Freedom Day in South Africa. They may be memorials to loved ones that had great influence over us.
- They are by nature infrequent. Although God can do anything, it’s not every day that God parts the Jordon River (Joshua 4:4-7). Although infrequent, they do however mark His ongoing activity in our lives in different ways, so that we can track His hand. It can be something that happened in a minute, or something that happened in a significant season in our lives. Not always predictable, but identifiable as we look back and remember.
- They recall important promises in our lives. Truths that are so significant that our lives are forever changed by their impact on our lives. One example is the altar built to mark promises given to Abraham in Gen 12:1-8 and 13:1-18 where he was promised to be a father of many nations of believers. Isaac was promised that God would be with him and he built an altar in Gen 26:17-25. In his turn Jacob received his promises of God presence in His life in Gen 28:10-22 and Gen 35:1-7 and marked those days. Each of them had their lives significantly shaped by these promises.
- We leave the experience a stronger or different person for the better. We may not always feel stronger immediately after the event, but with the passing of time we look back and say: “Hey, look how God used that in my life.” Even if it is the worst experience of our life, with time we look back and see that God made it something beautiful in or lives. (Ecc 3:11)
- They are meant to be remembered and shared. In the process of telling others about spiritual markers, we give testimony to the goodness of God. In the process we are reminded of the past and filled with gratitude. But it also builds in us comfort and courage for the present day and hope for the future. (“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev 12:11)
- It establishes faith and builds faith in others. As we remember the events and circumstances around our spiritual markers, our own faith is bolstered and strengthened. As these events are shared with others, they consider that “If God can do it for them, He can do it for me.” It points them to God and refocuses their faith on Him. You know it is a significant spiritual marker if you find that you share it often, this normally indicates that it had significant impact on you. One such example is in 1 Sam 7:1-12 where Samuel put up a stone to remind the people that “God has helped us” against our enemies.
- It normally marks an occasion where you consulted God’s word and made decisions about your life based on what God revealed to you in His Word. It is important to mark these, as with time we often forget the reasons behind the decisions we took and when we are later discouraged; it is these markers that remind us of what God specifically said to us. It helps to keep track of important decisions and to ensure that you keep moving in the direction God previously indicated to you. This is the case for Gideon when God called him to a difficult task (Judges 6:11-24) so He then built an altar to remind himself that “God is Peace” that He saw God and did not die. Later when the people wanted to stone him and the task became difficult, it is this spiritual marker that reminded him Who he chose to follow.
Lord help me to identify the spiritual markers in my life and in so doing develop spiritual memory in my walk with You. As I remember these events help them to strengthen my faith and keep me consistently on the path. Also help me to share with others, so that they too may benefit from my walk with You. Thank You Father that you are constantly working in my life and that these markers are reminders to me that I belong to You and my future is secure in You.
I would love to hear about your experience of marking important spiritual events in your life. For more reading: