In previous posts we’ve looked at when God asks us to wait. What about when He requires us take a bold step of faith?
Reading this story in Joshua 3, we see that the Jordan didn’t open up until the feet of the priests touched the water.
There was no going forward into the promised land without faith going into action. Faith is like a muscle, if it isn’t exercised, it will weaken until atrophy sets in.
There was no way way around their problem – they had to go through it!
The Final Obstacle
The children of Israel had spent 40 years in the wilderness – 40 years!
They were now about to enter into the Promised Land at last, leaving the past behind them. But they faced a final obstacle – the Jordan River.
Normally the Jordan is only around 100 feet wide; but God had brought the Israelites to the river at harvest when the Jordan was in flood. (v. 15) It was 50 times wider than normal and there were 2 million people who had to cross. There was no way around their problem, they had to go through it, with the supernatural intervention of God.
Do you feel as though you’ve been in the wilderness?
Do you need to leave the past behind and enter new territory? Are you encountering a barrier that seems to stop you?
So, How Do We Enter Our Promised Land – Leaving the Past Behind?
1. Believe that the Promised Land is better than the wilderness.
Sometimes we become so comfortable in our own personal wilderness that it becomes easier to just stay where we are and to put up with the familiar. The dirt and dust and weariness of the wilderness seems preferable to taking that bold step out of our comfort zone into the new.
Why would you go into something new, unless you truly believed it was better than where you are?
Moses had sent 12 men to spy out the land. Their reports were that it was “exceedingly good” (Num. 14:7) and yet still, some chose not to believe it. They chose not to go forward and they missed out on the tremendous blessings God had in store for them.
2. Believe that God is with you.
Josh 3:11 “the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan”
The Ark of the Covenant, a visible symbol of the presence of God, was to go before them, carried by the priests, to prepare the way.
As I read this familiar story, two things stood out:
• The people were told that when they saw the Ark of the Covenant on the move, they were to “set out from your place, and follow” (Verse 3) They were to actively pursue God and move when He moved.
• “Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves [for His purpose], for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders (miracles) among you.”(Josh 3:5 AMP) Sometimes we become complacent; it seems like too much hard work to leave our comfort zone and allow God to take us somewhere else. I think a line of a song we sing in church that goes “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, so my faith can be made stronger, in the presence of my Saviour.” Do I really want this? Are we ‘content’ to just sit back and watch God work miracles and wonders in other’s lives while we stay in our tents in the wilderness?
If you and I ever want to get past our obstacles we need to learn how to follow after God. He will show you what He is doing, and teach you how to live. (See John 5:13-14)
3. Take a step of faith.
What was about to happen was impossible in the natural. Can you picture the scene? Joshua standing at the Jordan River, watching as the 5 mile-wide torrent of water rushes by. God has told him that they are to cross it into the promised land – how was he to get an entire nation across?
The water would have been deep and threatening; this was an exercise in faith that required taking a bold step of obedience.
God had said that as soon as the priests put their feet into the water, He would make a way through the river and they had to believe that.
Did the thought come to any of them – “did God really say this?” Probably. They were people just like us after all.
Yet they took that step of obedience and faith. As soon as the feet of the priests touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing (3:15-16). And the people crossed.
Sometimes God wants us to take the step of faith first, and then He will come through.
Wherever you find yourself today, whether you need to be shaken from your uncomfortable, yet familiar and therefore preferable ‘wilderness’, to believe God has something far better for you, or whether you’re facing an obstacle that seems impossibly insurmountable, remember that our God is the God of the impossible!
Ephesians 20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
If you’re looking at your situation and thinking ‘there’s no way’, remember that God looks at your problem from His perspective and says ‘I have a way, follow me!’