A missionary saw how the natives were trapping monkeys. The natives would cut a hole in a whole coconut and empty it. They would then fill the empty coconut with enough soil to weigh it down and add some fruits and nuts to lure monkeys to it. Although the hole was big enough for a monkey to push its hand into the coconut, as soon as the monkey grabbed the fruit or nut however, its hand, now a clenched fist, would be too big to be pulled out of the coconut. The only way the monkey could be free of the coconut is to let go of what it is holding and thus unclench its hand. Otherwise, the monkey would have to carry the coconut with it, become weighed down, restricted, limited, and vulnerable.
That generation God freed from slavery in Egypt, to give them freedom and a future with abundant blessings in the Promised Land—were weighed down instead by certain things they were carrying from their past. It was their next generation instead who entered the Promised Land, though not because they were better than their parents’ generation. Rather, it was because they did not hold on to those things of the past. It was not that everything that belonged to their history had to be left behind and forgotten. Their history included that impossible crossing they had to make across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. It was impossible even for the strong among them because the Jordan River was fully flooded when they were crossing it. But God pushed back the flood waters and enabled that entire generation to walk on the riverbed and cross into the Promised Land.
Beyond the Jordan River, there were other crossings to be made and challenges to overcome, which would be possible however and only if they did so again by God’s Word and His Power. So that they and their future generations would have the confidence for this, God instructed them to take the twelve stones from the riverbed which the priests had stood on during their Jordan River crossing.
Last night Century Christian Fellowship (CCF) arrived at the edge of her crossing into becoming COR’s church plant in Church of the Epiphany. To keep going forward, it will be important that CCF carry with her all that she has experienced of God’s power and all of God’s Word that has been sown in her. It will however be also important that CCF let go of things from her past that would weigh her down from going forward freely and fully to be the congregation God has called her to be. It is important that CCF leaves those coconuts behind and take instead the stones of testimony of God’s Word and power.
Friends, how about you? What are you holding on to that is weighing you down and holding you back from going forward freely and fully into what God is giving to you? Is there any coconut you need to leave behind? Is there any stone of testimony of God’s Word and power that you must take up and stand on instead, to can live freely and fully in Christ?
Rev. Joseph Goh