To rally: "to muster for a common purpose...to arouse for action...to come together again to renew an effort." That's the way Webster defines the verb. He says the noun means: "a mustering of scattered forces to renew an effort; a summoning up of strength or courage."
Throughout Scripture, we encounter God's rallying points: places where His people assembled for a common purpose, for recovery and refreshment, for mustering forces and getting recharged for battle.
For Abraham it was Bethel, the place of the altar. For Moses it was the bush in the desert. For the Hebrews en route to Canaan? Well, they had several. During the day, a massive cloud overhead. At night, an enormous column of fire. Along the way, the tabernacle, that portable sanctuary where the Lord met with His chosen ones. Later, it was the temple. Then, following the terrible years of Babylonian captivity, Nehemiah envisioned a plan for "mustering scattered forces to renew an effort" as he led a ragtag group of dejected Hebrews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.
Jesus Himself became a rallying point for a handful of men whose lives were otherwise destined for mediocrity. And after His departure, His Spirit came at Pentecost and ignited a spark as the church universal came into existence, offering perpetual hope for fractured, lost humanity.
Finally, today, you and I can look back and recall a specific place—our own Bethel or desert bush—where God became real to us again.
Where would we be without rallying points? Places that catapult us into new dimensions we would otherwise never inhabit.
Today, rallying points are often provided by evangelistic crusades. Critics, of course, want us to believe these are nothing more than some old-fashioned revivals where church folks gather, sing a few songs, listen to Bible preaching, then promptly go back to business as usual. You and I know, however, that these meetings can be some of the most significant events ever held in America, for they may provide a fresh spiritual awakening that will be nothing short of revolutionary.
So, thank God for your own Bethel. And pray that He will provide the same for others.
Pray that He will arouse us for action and muster us for a common purpose in these days when our forces often seem scattered and when we need a summoning up of strength and courage.
Rallying points replace flabby faith with the grit and gristle of godliness.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.