|“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!!
“40Now when Jesus came back [to Galilee], the crowd received and welcomed Him gladly, for they were all waiting and looking for Him. 41And there came a man named Jairus, who had [for a long time] been a director of the synagogue; and falling at the feet of Jesus, he begged Him to come to his house, 42For he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As [Jesus] went, the people pressed together around Him [almost suffocating Him]. 43And a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone, 44Came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her flow of blood ceased. 45And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side! 46But Jesus said, Someone did touch Me; for I perceived that [healing] power has gone forth from Me. 47And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling, and, falling down before Him, she declared in the presence of all the people for what reason she had touched Him and how she had been instantly cured. 48 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).” Luke 8:40-48 (AMP)
When I was growing up, it was known to me and my siblings (and even today) that Daddy’s room was out of bounce for anyone unless for instances where you were going to be disciplined. That was the HQ for discipline and if you were sent there, you knew that your fate is sealed. No one dared to enter the room unless you were sent to get or take something there. I grew up knowing that but one day, I was in sever pain at dawn and I couldn’t bear it anymore but I had to break the rule and I plunged myself into the room. Thank God I wasn’t scolded for that. I was attended and my needs met.
Did you know that many of us as Christians we still live as if we have rules and protocol to observe whenever we are coming in the presence of God? When Jesus died on the Cross, the old testament temple that was divided into three, the curtain was torn in the middle thus giving us direct access to God. We can now reach out to him anytime we want and directly without a mediator. Paul reminds us “to fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” (Hebrews 4;16 AMP). I do believe that the moment I plunged into my daddy’s room, there would be some scolding and caning in the house if it was someone else who came in but because I was a son in the house, I had to be attended to.
I want to remind you my brother my sister; as a child of God, you have the liberty to come to God our father any time. One thing that we can be assured of is that we will be listened to and sorted out. You can not compare the attention a father gives to his child to the attention that he will give to another child. I am sure that if I came/appeared before my biological dad when I am all wounded and hurt, it doesn’t matter who or what my father was attending to, he will leave everything and attend to me first. Jesus reminds us of the same and asks as question. He said… “If you then (Earthly fathers), being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11 NKJV)
Friend, you have unlimited access to God. But so sad for some of us that we remain in our current situation simply because we live in fear. We do not know that our heavenly father is ready and willing to hear us anytime that we call on Him. You need to know that this principle applies across the board. When you know what God can do to you, for you, in you and with you and you go to Him, He will for sure do it and He won’t withhold anything. God is not a respecter of persons – He treats and reward everyone justly.(Acts 10:34) There are people who realized that and they broke the protocol, the rules and the norms of the time and they got what they wanted. Jesus once asked “Can you take bread for the children and give it to the dogs? “(Matthew 15:26-27)
Did you know that circumstances and situations that we are in are the biggest hindrances and deterrents for us to get our access to God? But as you read this, I want to remind you that you can get over them and get access to God. I want to look at a few people who went beyond what their circumstances and situations were saying about them; others broke protocol and others did sacrifice and risk their lives just for them to get what they were in need of:
In the scripture above, we see the woman with the issue of blood. The bible tells us that she had this problem for 12 years. She had used all she had. 12 years is not yesterday… but a long time. By this time I bet she was thin and drained. To make it worse… she was regarded as an outcast and unclean in the nation of Israel according to the law of Moses. I do believe that she was Lonely… but when she heard about Jesus, she didn’t mind about her leanness, how weak she was, the fact that she was an outcast and unclean, but she pushed through just to touch the hem of the garment on Jesus for her healing. My Friend, you need to overcome the circumstances, issues, problems that surround you and all that the people around you have labeled you, get up from where you are and press on for your miracle. She didn’t bother herself that she was an outcast… all that she wanted was her healing and restoration.
Zacchaeus never minded who was looking at him… all he wanted was to see the master. Luke 19:1-6 tells us that he was short but he hurried up and climbed a sycamore tree just to see the master. Little did he know that Jesus would dine with him in his house. Zacchaeus knew that getting past the crowd to be on the front line so as to see Jesus would be a tussle and furthermore, he was short… but he thought quickly and he knew if he climbed a tree, he would have a good view of the Saviour. Is your personality, your complexion, your physic hindering you from getting what you want or getting to where God has purposed you to be? You can overcome them and receive your miracle. May God give you ideas on how you can overcome personality issues. Paul advises Timothy and says “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT). Do not allow anything to bring you down!
Blind Bartimaeus was blind and he had heard of the miracles that Jesus had done. When he heard that He (Jesus) was passing through Jericho, he called loudly unto him for mercy! The bible tells us that people told him to keep quiet as he was bothering the master.. but the more they told him to shut up the more and louder he called out to Jesus (Mark 10:46-49). Which voices are you hearing that are telling you shut up or stop calling out to God? It doesn’t matter who is around you. There will always be people around us to discourage us.. but it is up to us to choose to get above the discouragements and push for our Miracle. Silence the voices, breakout and break-forth to your destiny!
Talk of Esther; a queen in a foreign land but for a purpose in that season. She broke the protocol that was supposed to be observed in the kings palace. She decided to go and see the king against the law. You were only supposed to go before the king whenever you were summoned; but she said.. “I will go and see the king; if I die, I die” (Esther 4:16). Sometimes, the circumstances and the things that we have to go through are life threatening for us to achieve what we want but until we take the risk; we will remain where we are and risk losing everything. What would you prefer? You never know; the distance between you and your breakthrough is that single risky step of faith that you just need to take. Go ahead and trust that God will be with you and be there for you.
I could talk of Peter walking on water; I could talk of Caleb and Joshua – Spoke up to Moses and gave a different report of spying the land against 11 others without fearing to be apprehended; I can talk of Caleb facing the Anakites to inherit Mt. Hebron; talk of David facing Goliath and many others. They were all ordinary men just like you and me but the difference is that the chose to break the Norm and go beyond what protocol defined them to. the question is… what is that that is holding you back today? Why cant you break the protocol and get to your destiny! Overcome the challenges around you; get past people who discourage you; be proud of who you are (Complexion, height etc.) and take the necessary risk! Always remember… “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).