Rivers: obstacles or opportunities?

There is a river in the way. But God said that the river would not be an issue. It would not be a problem. Like the Red Sea, God can do something miraculous.

But the Israelites needed to trust. And that is where we find ourselves.

This post is building on the previous two posts.

Click here for the first one or here for #2.

Pretend you are a drone, a thousand feet above the Israelite camp. You can see the Jordan river, which flows from north to south, making up the eastern border of Canaan. On the right (or east side) of the river, there stands Israel. Right now, a nation without a home. I wonder how many tents we would see. Are the animals in pens or able to roam free? This map is an estimation of the crossing location.

crossing the jordan

Everything seems to be ready. Israel is probably excited because they are (after 40 years) about to enter God’s promised land! Only one obstacle left!

Joshua 3 gives us insight to our situation. Here are the first 4 verses.

1Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsa between you and the ark; do not go near it.””

From these verses, even though the people were apparently ready, God was not.

Verse 3 tells the people to follow the ark. They should be used to this by now.

Verse 4 explains why. This was new ground, literally. They had never been there before.


Here is the connection to you and I in 2018.

We are ready for God to do a miracle. At least we think we are.

We want God to bolster our financial situation.

We want God to heal broken relationships.

We want God to exact revenge on the idiots in our life.

We want…it seems we are always ready for a miracle.

But are we really?

God had a slightly different plan. He wanted to be in front. He needed to be in front.

That means He gets the glory.

And many times, our desires keep God somewhere other than the front. 

ark of the covenant

The ark needed to go first. That was true for Joshua and the Israelites.

The ark (God) needs to be first in all we do. That is our take-home truth for today.

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This ark don’t float!

“But we will get wet! This thing is heavy and we are supposed to go in the water!?!? You must be crazy. Is there a plan B?”

what-are-you-crazy

I  wonder what the priests really said before they actually stepped into the Jordan river.

Joshua 3 shares a fantastic story. The story of the Israelites going into the Promised Land for the first time! But there was a river in the way. This was the first obstacle to taking over the land of Canaan.

Before I jump in (no pun intended, =-)), I want to explain something. The post prior to this one, which you can click here to read, dealt with the idea of control. This post is a follow-up. Why do we want control?

Why is it so hard to let go and give control to God?

I am going to try to answer that particular question.


Back to the Israelites…

Moses is dead and Joshua is now in charge. Joshua 1

Israel sent spies to check out Jericho, the first city in the Promised land. Joshua 2

Now, in chapter 3, the Lord is telling Joshua that they need to cross the Jordan river. But more than fording their way across, God has them do it in a specific manner.

Here are the priests, carrying the ark of the covenant on poles. They are directed to step into the water.

8“Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ ”

What would you have said?

And that, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road.

God asks and we ask back.

Remember the question I am trying to answer? Here is t is again;

Why is it so hard to let go and give control to God?

My answer is simply this; we don’t trust God.

Sure, we may have trusted Him for salvation but there is more. There is always more with God.

*The Israelites just got done wandering around the desert for 40 years because they did not trust God.

*God provided manna and quail when they did not trust Him.

*He made water flow in the sand when they didn’t trust Him.

*Remember the Red Sea? They didn’t trust Him there either.

It seems that you and I are like those Israelites. God does a great thing and before too long, we go back to not trusting. Be encouraged because God still gives us grace and mercy-even when we don’t always trust Him.

In these next few posts, we will dissect Joshua 3 and learn how we can trust God again.

In the meantime, grab your swimsuit because things are about to get wet!

jordan-crossing

 

 

Gasp!!!

Has something ever been so amazing or frightful that you could not even speak!?!? Have you witnessed something so incredible that the air in your lungs escaped with a whisper?

Is there anything in your life that you would qualify as breathtaking?


 

If you remember my last post (click here to read it), I mentioned a new series and a new format. This is part 2 in that series and here is a quick refresher on the new format:

The Word – The topic of the blog in one Word.

The Worth – This part contains my thoughts about the Word.

The Work – I conclude with a practical application of the Word.


The Word – Breathtaking 

The Worth – I simply typed in Google the word “breathtaking” and here are a few of the images that I was able to enjoy.

Our creation is really and truly breathtaking. But I am not really speaking of the creation more so than I am referring to the Creator!

Check out these verses from I Kings 8,

6The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. 8These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 9There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt. 10When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord11And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.” NIV, Underline mine.

Notice verses 10 and 11.

It was only when the priests got out of the way, that the Lord got in the way.

The Work – I want God to take my breath away. I want to see miracles like I read about in the Word. I want God to do such awesome things that my breath is stolen away.

Do you? Are you working to please men or our Lord? Is He your priority?

My prayer is that I may be like those priests;

“Lord, help me to get out of the way so you can get in the way!”

Take my breath away!!!