|“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 cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.” 5Joshua told the people “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” 6Joshua said to the priests “Take up the Ark of the Covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them. 7And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8Tell 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.” … 14So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16the water from upstream stopped flowing.”| Joshua 3:1-8; 14-16a
I am fascinated by how God works and does things. He is God and He knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. Before something happens, He already knows. David says in Psalms 139:16 that He has numbered and ordained our days. This means that He knows into details all of all your days and nothing can bypass him. Most of us we live in fear of what will happen tomorrow. The bible urges us not to worry of the same. Jesus speaking to his disciples in Matthew 6:25-34 and tells them “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We spend so much time thinking and worrying about tomorrow when our father has already taken care of the same. Jesus asks a simple question… “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” You have no power to… so relax and trust God to take care of you as He has promised.
As we take rest and trust in the Lord for him to take care of us, we need to realize that we will be required to Obey. Without obedience, there are blessings that we cannot partake. The children of Israel have been in the wilderness in their journey to the promised land and the Lord has taken care of them throughout the whole time. There were no tailors to make new clothes for them; no tanners and shoe makers to make them new pairs of shoes yet the Lord supplied them all through. Even when they had no food, God sent them manna from heaven and quails for meat. In the scripture above, we see them at the verge of getting into the promised Land. I think and believe that all of them had yearned to get into the promised land but many of them that came from Egypt perished in the wilderness simply because of their disobedience. and thus God allowed them to be in the wilderness all this time. At times, there are things that we go through not knowing that we shouldn’t have gone through them but we had to go through them because of our disobedience and ignorance.
The Lord speaks to his Servant Joshua and tells him to tell the children of Israel to consecrate themselves and get ready to get into the promised land. You need to realize that before God backs you up or propels you to your next level, your relationship with Him (God) ought to be right. When God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, (Genesis 18:22-23) Abraham tried to plead with God to spare the city if a few righteous men were found but no one was found lest Lot and his family. See what Joshua tells the children of Israel: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5). God starts to do amazing things, releases your miracle and breakthrough once you have consecrated yourself. Whenever God was to speak and do something new in the camp of the Israelites, He commanded Moses to tell the children of Israel to consecrate themselves.
Purity in our lives precedes our breakthrough and elevation; but we will never get where God has destined for us if we are not living pure and holy lives. The problem is that many of us we mess ourselves up and compromise on some things as we try to make things work rather than waiting on God. After the children of Israel had consecrated themselves ready for the Lord, God gave them instructions on how they were to go. Too bad that many of us we do not follow the commands that we are given and thus we miss a lot. We are like the Israelites.. we want to try God and see what can happen. I tell you, thank God we are living in the time of Grace… God utterly destroyed all the people who disobeyed him in the old testament. Do you remember Korah and Dothan in Numbers 16:1-35; remember the Bronze snake in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4–9)
The instructions were clear to the Israelites in Joshua 3:3-4a They were first to SEE the Ark; then MOVE OUT of their positions and then FOLLOW the Ark to get direction. We always miss the sequence of the three simple steps above. As human beings, we rely on our own strength and wisdom and we Move out and follow our own ways hoping to See and get a confirmation of what we are doing whereas we are supposed to wait first, see and follow. You need to Know that whenever God tells you to Move OUT; He wants to bring/take you INTO a better place. but we do not have patience to wait on Him. He asked Abraham to Leave his fathers house to bring him to a better place.. the place of the covenant (Genesis 12:1-3); Called Elisha from ploughing and he became a great prophet Prophet (1 Kings 19:19-21). Trust God when He asks you to do something. He has a good plan for you.
Realize that when God was asking them to move and cross over Jordan, it was a season when Jordan was flooded and they could have easily been drowned… yet the Lord instructs them to Move out of their positions and advance. If you could sit back and ask yourself whether God was serious, you will say that God doesn’t make sense in such an instance; but I submit to you that God will always ask you to do something that you see is impossible to Glorify Himself and build your faith and trust in Him. Whenever you realize that whatever God is asking you to do is greater than you, it means that He is right there with you to support you. The problem with us is that we do not TRUST God when He speaks to us. The children of Israel had learnt to trust God and thus they were ready to obey. They had a testimony of what God had done for them and unlike us who can count the testimonies we have of what God has done, we still can’t trust God!
The next thing the Israelites were to do was to follow the Ark of the covenant as it led the way carried by the priests. This signified their surrender and dependence on God to lead them. The Ark of the covenant signified the presence of God. How many of us can sit back and allow God to take the wheel and Lead them? We always want to be on the drivers seat in our lives and when we hit a snag on the road, that’s when we are so quick to call on God and ask Him to lead the way. Solomon says in Proverbs 3:5 that we should acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and He will direct our paths. The children of Israel allowed God to lead the way. When God leads the way, you can be assure that all the battles ahead of you will be fought and won by the time you come… and all you need to do is come and have your victory. It doesn’t matter where the Lord takes you to ; you are assured that as long as He is the one who is leading the way, there is guaranteed safety and victory.
The Lord Commanded the priests to STEP on the flooded waters of river Jordan once they got to the shore. The bible says that as soon as the soles of their feet touched the waters, the water stopped flowing and gave way for the children of Israel to cross over to Canaan. I have longed to reach to this point as I was writing all along. I want to speak to you now: You have the promise that God has given you; You have been patient and waited on Him. Now that you are on the verge of your breakthrough is when you want to give up? Why? The children of Israel had endured 40 years in the wilderness and now that they were at the shore of river Jordan, they were ready to cross over. Child of God… the devil will discourage you when you are just about to get your breakthrough. The children of Israel could have told Joshua to wait for the water levels in the flooded Jordan to subside to come down then they can cross over.. but they followed.
I submit to you this day even as you read this that the distance from your misery and season of waiting to your season of Joy, Jubilation and celebration; your transition from the wilderness to the promised Land is the risk that you will take and STEP FORTH into the flooded waters of Jordan. The minute that you take the risk and get into that business; you go to that person that you are dreading to meet; going to drop that application form for that Job… name it; whatever thing you are dreading to do.. all you need to do is STEP FORTH and go for it. You have to make that BOLD step of FAITH and then God will back you. The bible says as soon as the Priests’ feet touched the waters… the waters stopped flowing. God is waiting for you to take that single bold step of faith.
The four lepers in 2 Kings 7:3-8? They refused to die where they were and the Minute the started to move from the city gate where they were, the bible says, God caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army. It was until they moved that the Lord amplified their footsteps to sound like a vast army. What are you waiting for? Why stay there till you miss your blessings? God is waiting for you to Make a move and thus He can back you up. As I said earlier, the Bigger the Risk, the more the assurance that God is right there with you!! Make that bold move and STEP FORTH and see what the Lord will do with you and for you!!