Back in March of 2016, the Lord showed us through a passage in Joshua 3, that it was time to “cross the Jordan”. Isn’t it interesting the number of times we arrive at a crossroads or junction and pause? Where is the direction we assumed would be there? Looking both ways and even behind us, the road isn’t always clear, just as it wasn’t for the fledgling nation called Israel as they crossed over into what was the boundary to their promised land for the first time.
Imagine the very ones charged with lifting the large golden clad box called the “Ark of the Covenant”, not knowing how they were supposed to cross a river that was at flood stage during this particular time of year. The odd challenge they had was knowing they had to walk through this water without touching the box on their shoulders, for to touch the Ark was certain death.
You likely had the same thought I did when reading this for the first time…what happens to a wooden box that comes in contact with water…it FLOATS, and likely FLOATS AWAY. Wait! That’s not supposed to happen, right?!
Why did the Lord lead these people to camp on the edge of their promise for 3 days only to stare the barrier in front of them? Some of these same doubts were likely rolling around the camp.
Yes, resting is never an easy posture for us. It can seem like a wasted, empty activity; but it is one that is so vital to our lives. It is often through these particular moments that one more step into our future is inked in the book that sits open before the Lord – the “Book of Life”.
So how do we take steps like this when we really don’t know where they lead or we are unsure of the way?
We know from the pages of Scripture that the leader of this particular band of wanderers was a man named Joshua. He had always been a number two man, never a leader like Moses, so it is highly likely that his number one barrier was FEAR.
It is interesting that in first chapter of the book that bears his name, we read the Lord encouraging him by starting out, “Moses my servant is dead”.
Um, what, Lord?!
You want me to do THIS?!
The Lord goes on to say, “be strong and courageous” many times…likely because Joshua needed to hear it many times. We all need this word of encouragement as well, especially in times of transition when we sense a call upon us to do something that is more risky and tumultuous than anything we have ever done before.
As the story goes, the people literally remained in a place of “rest”, camping on the edge of their promise for three days.
As a quick side note, think of how many days Jesus was in the tomb! Perhaps the number “3” has an additional application as to why periods of rest often precede seasons of “doing”.
In the proper time, and often it comes when we are past the point of being ready – God “WHY does it take so long for – fill in the blank – “, the people were instructed to get up from their positions and follow the priests that carried the Ark.
Note, there were leaders and there were followers even then. One is not greater than the other. And often, we can be function in both places all throughout our lives.
So, WHO are you following right now?
I like to think of this scene as a group of desert weary people reluctantly following a gold laden box bore on the shoulders of lavishly clad individuals with lots of water splashing around. There’s not a lot of detail given beyond this that would describe this time of transition, EXCEPT that when the Lord finally instructed the people to step out into the waters that were once a barrier they literally “stood up at a heap some distance away”.
In short, the crossing of the Jordan wasn’t a simultaneous miracle that coincided with the step the priests took.
All too often, we step and look and instantly hope the water (the obstacles you face) will be removed, but while this step of faith does in fact unlock something, the initial result prompted by faith is often not seen immediately. Rest assured, when we step things do change.
We are not meant to walk a static faith, one of mental ascent only, but rather one of action, faith and trust. Obstacles will be moved and barriers that we had no way to cross suddenly get moved when we simply put that first foot out into the “unknown”.
Rest assured, the relationship you have with the Lord is a COVENANT relationship, meaning what He has PROMISED you will come to pass…it ABSOLUTELY will. It’s a certainty. The question we all ask is “When” and “How”.
As the Lord has been calling us to take this literal step into the promise He has for us, it is our prayer that you too will know the calling and clear direction of the Lord to walk in the promises He has for YOU.
What has He promised you? Don’t grieve that it hasn’t happened yet…praise Him that it WILL come; and when it does, you will be able to stand under the “weight” of all that you were made to be.
“May you know the Hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18), and may you gasp in amazement as what literally happens in your life as you hang onto courage and hope
…Don’t be afraid
…Take that step and see what happens!
The best is yet to come!
~ Michael & Tonya