Summary: We will all face our Jordan River. The story of Israel's crossing will help us be prepared.
One More River to Cross
Sunday, May 02, 2010 – AM
By Pastor James May
There’s an old song that goes like this:
I’ve had a lot troubles and trials in my little life span,
When I’m standing alone and the battle gets hot I’m always doing the best I can,
I’ve crossed a lot of high mountains; shed a million tears,
But when I come to the river Jordan, hallelujah,
Then I’ll have no fears, then I’ll have no fears.
One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb,
One more valley that I got to go through leaving my troubles behind,
One more battle with the devil and I know he’ll understand,
I’m going through with Jesus hallelujah,
Holding to his nail scarred hand, holding to his nail scarred hand.
All of us have our own Jordan to face. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 … it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: That simply means that none of us will escape that appointment with God when we will be called upon to cross over that river for one last time.
In consideration of that fact I think it would be helpful for us to examine the story of Joshua and the Children of Israel as they prepare to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Everything that happened to Israel in their journeys through the wilderness have a correlation to your life and mine as we travel this journey of life towards the fulfillment of God’s covenant with man and the inheritance that He has prepared for all them that love Him.
Before we begin let me give you a quick list of the characters in this story. First there is the leader of the People of God whose name is Joshua. He has taken over that position after the death of Moses.
Moses is a type of Jesus’ ministry while on this earth. Just as Moses confronted Pharaoh who held the Jews captive and would not let them go free; Jesus confronted the devil face-to-face and overcame him through the miracle of the resurrection. Just as Moses was buried and passed the torch of leadership on Joshua; Jesus died and was buried, then rose again and ascended into Heaven while Peter, James and John stood and watched him rise.
But before Jesus left this world he gave them some instructions. Go and wait in Jerusalem, for I won’t leave you without a leader. The Comforter will come. One the Day of Pentecost, just 40 days later, the Comforter came in the form of the Holy Ghost entering into the Upper Room and filling 120 Born Again Christians with the awesome power of the Holy Ghost and fire. Suddenly there was another leader among God’s People. It was the Holy Ghost; God the Spirit representing the presence of God the Son to us on a whole new level, and the Holy Ghost is still the leader in the church today. If we aren’t being led by the Spirit then we are being jerked around by the powers of hell.
Joshua became a type of the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Christ if you will, as he led the Children of Israel into a new world. Everything was about to change as they entered into that Promised Land. They would no longer be wanderers in a dry and thirsty land where there was no water. They had been pilgrims on a long journey, but now they had finally come home.
In the life of a Christian, when we are born again, the Bible says that we are changed; not when we enter Heaven; but the instant that we are born again. Behold old things are passed away and we have become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Sure there is another change coming; on that day when we rise to meet Jesus in the air, we will be changed to a glorious body, just like Jesus; but we are also changed right now. You are still clothed in the same body of flesh that you had before you were born again, but that man who lives in that body is not the same man that was there before. There’s something different about you now. You think different. You act different. You talk different. You go to different places. And even the flesh on the outside will reflect that change that has come on the inside. Where there was once a frown; there is a smile. Where there was once worry and doubt; there is peace and faith. Where once there was the mark of sin and you were identified with that old taskmaster, the devil; now there is a definite mark of grace and you bear the mark of Christ. Not only do you know there’s a change, but everyone around you knows there has been a change as well. That’s because you have a new leader down in your heart. Your spiritual Joshua is giving the orders and you are marching to the beat of a different drum.