Summary: A yielded heart will take us through the river that leads to the Promised Land.
COURAGEOUS LIVING P.4
For every challenge that God gives us there will always be a corresponding obstacle to challenge our faith.
As followers of Jesus it is imperative to identify the challenge, then make a choice. Will we move forward in faith and overcome the challenge, or will we choose to sit back and simply stay where we are where it is more comfortable and safe.
For Joshua and the Isrealites, the obstacle that flowed between them and the promised land of blessing was the Jordan River. They could begin to fight the enemy, and take possession of the land until this major hurdle was crossed.
The stakes were high. There was no turning back. Behind them was the vast wasteland of the desert and barren mountains. They endured 40 painful years of God’s discipline and now it was time to move on.
This is just as a significant time as when they stood on the banks of the Red Sea Standing at the Red Sea was going to end 430 years of slavery, standing on the banks of the Jordan river, 40 years of wilderness existence was ending.
a. The end of 40 years of walking in a circle going nowhere fast;
b. The end of striving and never arriving;
c. The end of walking by sight
d. The end of Independent living
e. The end of never being assured of victory over the enemy
f. The end of being constantly reminded of past failures
g. The end of fear
h. The end of self centered existence where life was all about them;
This moment of transition would change Israel from a wandering nation to a settled nation, from a people living in hope of a promise to a people living in possession of the promise!
But before the land could be conquered, there was this impossible river to be crossed. It was a barrier that could not be wished away, named away or claimed away. It remained a foreboding impasse.
Normally the Jordan was a small, winding tributary about 30 feet wide and six feet deep at its maximum pint. But in the spring, when the snows from Mt.Hermon melted, the river would transform into a surging wall of water, up to a mile wide and 30 feet deep at its maximum point.
It has been said, ‘that a journay of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And that step is usually the most fearful, especially if it means stepping into a deep river whose swift current could sweep you away in an instant.’( Erwin Lutzer)
When I was younger, I heard it preached, ‘In the Christian life you are either an overcomer or you are overcome, a victor or a victim.’ ( w.wiersbe)
The difference is the choice you make whether you will move forward in faith and overcome the obstacle that stands between you and God’s plan, promise and provision for your life. Or will you choose to listen to the voice of fear that says, “go back to where it is more comfortable and safe.’
What does the Jordan river represent for you and me? It is not crossing death into heaven as some old hymns sentimentally suggest.
I think it is best summarized in this statement, ‘If Egypt represents the world, and the long excursion in the desert represents the discipline every one of us experiences, then the Jordan River represents the FULL SURRENDAR of our lives to the call to be fully devoted followrs of Jesus.’
IN short it is dying to self. it is dying to our agendas, fleshly desires and ego’s. It opens the door to a new life of intimacy with God. We must die to ourselves in order to have victory over sin and live for Christ.
The Bible says, that our testimony should be ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ( Galatians 2:20)
Once the ISrealites stepped into the Jordan there would be no turning back to the wanderings of the wilderness. They were moving on towards the land of promise, and provision in God’s purpose. But it meant full surrender of their wills, adnlives into God’s hands, no matter what.
Each of us comes to our own Jordan at some point in our lives.
What did Joshua command ISreal to do as they were about to set foot into the Jordan and move into their promise? What must we do as we move forward into God’s plan for our lives?
1. PREPARE YOUR HEART
The Bible says that Joshua rose early in the morning, and with the nation set up camp at the edge of the Jordan where they spent three days PREPARING for a miracle.