Summary: Taking the first step to claiming the mountain for ourselves.
STEPPING INTO THE WATER
“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. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan” (Joshua 3:1-8).
And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood [and] rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that [is] beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, [even] the salt sea, failed, [and] were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan” (Joshua 3:15-17).
We are going to build the church on the Mountain and we will build “a church to change the world.” But, I have said we are going to construct the new building as the money comes in. Two weeks ago we began to clear the property of trees, this is really A FIRST STEP TO CLAIMING THE MOUNTAIN FOR OURSELVES. By clearing trees and beginning some work on the property, we are stepping into the water. This is a picture of what God promised Joshua.
In order to enter the Promised Land, Israel faced a huge barrier, i.e., the overflowing Jordan River at flood time. Joshua had a million and a half people following him, this included total families . . . babies . . . cattle . . . possessions . . . everything that they owned. They needed a miracle to enter the Promised Land just as TRBC needs a miracle to move to the Mountain.
The raging river was before them.
The families couldn’t enter.
God had commanded to possess.
The answer: take one step at a time.
A new location to “touch” Central Virginia.
A new church building as a testimony of faith to the Christian world.
Located on the Mountain to influence Liberty University so together we can be a church to change the world.
But we don’t have the money.
The answer: build as God supplies the money.
SIX THINGS TO DO: TO PART THE WATERS
1. Make an early decision to start.
“And Joshua rose up early in the morning; and they removed from Shittum, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over” (3:1).
I have learned in my life that you don’t do exploits for God until you make a decision to begin. Joshua and all the people got started early in the morning toward Jordan; notice, they didn’t remain back where they were to wait for God to do the miracle before they took a step. They walked right up to Jordan. This was an attitude of faith to follow God.
You do not have the power to obey God
Until you make a first-step to follow God.
2. To realistically face the challenge before you.
Joshua came to the River Jordan, i.e., his barrier. “Joshua . . . came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there” (3:1). Let me give you three suggestions: