Trusting God is hard, it shouldn’t be but it is…
When he has shown his love over and over again I still find it a hard lesson to learn. And then I am reminded of Joshua and the Israelites. In Exodus God rescued them from the Egyptians by allowing them to cross the Red Sea. In Exodus 14:16 God tells Moses “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” This only required a little bit of faith on behalf of Moses and the Israelites, Moses raised his staff and all night long the wind blew the water back so Israel crossed on dry ground. This is a case where God moved first.
When we come to Joshua 3 something different happens. The Israelites have been on the move for 40 years and are finally about to enter the promised land by crossing the Jordan river at Jericho when the river was at its flood stage. Many thousands of Israelites are traveling up the Kings Highway, and people knew that they had several victories as they traveled through the desert. Now they face a barrier, a river at flood stage. While the Jordan River is not very wide, it goes from about 1500 feet above sea level at is beginning to 1400 feet below sea level when it reaches the Dead Sea, it is a fast-moving river, especially during the flood season.
Joshua 3:15-16 Now 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, the water from upstream stopped flowing.
Did you catch that?
The priests had to put their feet in the water before God acted. In the area across from Jericho it is not a nice sloping bank where you can dip your foot in, you have to go all in… a fast-moving, flooded river where the water is above your head as soon as you step off the bank. And God says step off first. If they hadn’t, they never would have entered the promised land to be a people who were called to a different life. A people who were to be his witnesses to the world, to live according to his ways so that the world could see what it looked like to live for God with all their hearts.
God is not only bigger than the desert that the Israelites wandered in for 40 years, he is bigger than the Red Sea, the Egyptians, and the Jordan River but have we made God the Lord of everything?
What are the Jordan Rivers in your life, the barriers that keep you from following God’s will for your life? What step of faith is God asking you to do in order for him to act?