Summary: Every man has a Jordan River that has to be crossed to gain the Promised Land.
STANDING AT THE EDGE OF THE RIVER
TEXT: Joshua 3:1-6
Joshua 3:1-6 -- “And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.” “And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;” “And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.” “Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” “And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.”
I. INTRODUCTION -- STANDING AT THE EDGE OF THE PRESIDENCY
In early 1975, Jimmy Carter, the ex-governor of Georgia, began campaigning in Iowa, the site of the first statewide contest in the race for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. Carter knew almost no one in the state, and his first piece of business was to introduce himself. He set up in a hotel suite in Des Moines with soft drinks, crackers and cheese. Then he waited. And waited. Thirty minutes, an hour, two hours, three hours. . . no one came to his reception, not a single person. Embarrassed but undeterred, Carter 50, and Jody Powell, his press secretary left the room and roamed the streets looking for voters. Anyone with a notebook or tape recorder sent them into exhilaration.
With a persistent attitude (sometimes that is what it takes), they took their cheese crackers and soft drinks and started stumping in the small towns of Iowa. One of the things that Carter told the people was this: “I will never lie to you.” When he said this, he noted a stirring in the small audiences. They perked up and began to pay attention to him. People were still stinging from the Watergate problems. The appeal of that single statement was the power that Jimmy Carter would ride into the Whitehouse. In retrospect, Jimmy Carter will never be considered a great president. In all probability, he was one of the most “common” presidents that the United States has had in the last century. He was a farmer who really was out of place with the political machine that runs this country.
Yet, in all of this there is one single aspect that should be found in this. When no one showed up at his hotel meeting in the early stages of his running for the Presidency, he refused to allow the obstacles to overwhelm him. He knew that he wanted to be President and was willing to make the necessary adjustments to become that man.
-Whether you are running for the White House, or trying to influence others for Jesus Christ, or trying to live victoriously in this life over sin and temptation, or trying to reach lost men, or trying to cross a Jordan River at flood stage, one thing is for certain. That is, you must come to the edge of the obstacle and face it down and allow God to work with you and through you to accomplish His purpose.
II. THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
-When you initially look at the book of Joshua, it can be outlined:
Joshua 1-5 -- Entering the Land of Canaan
Joshua 6-12 -- Overcoming the Land of Canaan
Joshua 13-24 -- Occupying the Land of Canaan
-The land of Canaan is going to be a place of challenge and a place of spiritual struggle. This fact is given when we look at Deuteronomy 7:1-6. Moses gave some important principles there to assist men in overcoming the enemy.
1. The land must be possessed and the enemy must be destroyed -- 7:1
2. No compromise can be made with those who are in the land -- 7:2-4
3. The altars of Canaan had to be destroyed, the idols eradicated, and the groves cleansed -- 7:6
-The crossing of the river Jordan and the taking of Canaan has always been the call for the people of God. The walled cities, the numerous gods, and temples had to be removed. Some of these things were not just spiritual actions but physical actions.
-Some would express that they desire to have a walk with God, have a hunger for revival, long for lost men to be saved, and expect God overnight to change them on the inside. But I must tell you this that all changes do not occur at the altar.