Summary: We all have Jordan’s in our lives to cross. What is your Jordan?
WHAT IS YOUR JORDAN?
At times in our lives, each of us reach points of critical decisions – places where the decision we make will have huge effects on the rest of our lives. We come to an intersection in our lives and we have to make a choice about whether we head left or whether we head right. I came to one of those points of decision in my life in 1998. I had been dating this wonderful, beautiful, brilliant young woman, and I decided to ask her if she would be my wife. I had a nice meal cooked. And had a Sunday School classroom set up at FBC Harrah with a table, chairs, flowers and music playing.(I lived with a bunch of messy bachelors and who wants to propose in that kind of atmosphere??), and then offered her a ring and the chance to spend the rest of her life with a great wonderful guy like me… She faced a critical decision point then also. What to say to this guy who is somewhat strange, often stubborn, and messier than she might have liked…
We all can relate. You can look back and see those points of critical decision in your own life as well. Career choices, decisions about how to respond to illness, if and when to start a family, all of these are critical points of decision. For many of us, the biggest decision we look back on was a spiritual decision. The choice to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Our friends the Israelites face just such a junction in chapter 3 of Joshua. As you are looking it up, I want to ask you to try to imagine spending your entire life dreaming of one thing. Your parents and grandparents dreamt of it before you, and would tell you stories from the time of your earliest memories about how wonderful it would be when this one thing finally came to pass. Now imagine that every other person you had ever known was also looking forward to this one thing – it was not a personal dream but rather a national dream, shared by everyone around you. All of your activities were supposed to be moving you in that direction; it was the one goal towards which everyone was striving. Can you imagine it? Can you feel the longing for it?
Try to imagine you are one of the Israelites as I read this story. Joshua 3:1-17. Because of their unbelief, Israel was sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Those years have now expired and the children of Israel are now ready to enter the Promise Land, Canaan. They are ready to claim their inheritance in the land of promise. However, before they can enter Canaan, they must first get by the one final, major obstacle: the Jordan River. Normally, this would not have presented much of a problem, since the Jordan is only 100 feet wide at Gilgal where they crossed. However, it seems God always does things in such a way that no man can boast of having done it on his own. You see, God brought them to Jordan at the time of harvest (4:15). Those who have been there during the time of Harvest tell us that during that time it swells to an impassable width of 1 mile! It was over 50 times wider than it normally would have been when Israel arrived. There was no way they could cross this river on their own! They needed spiritual help. They needed something that was a lot bigger than them and that one thing was God the Father. The Israelites were either going to cross the river or stay stuck on the other side just short of God’s promised blessings.
Today we stand at the juncture of our own Jordan River and what we need to understand is that the Jordan is a symbol. It’s the place where we either cross over or we settle for being just short of where God wants us as an individual and us as a church. Now with that said we each have Jordan’s of our own that we face from time to time and when we cross those Jordan’s in our lives we are able to enter into the Promise land. And when I say the Promise Land I’m not talking about heaven, even though that is the ultimate Promise Land, but rather I’m talking about those blessings that God has in store for us as individuals, as families and as churches. And not only are we able to receive the blessings from God, but we are also able to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promised His followers.
So this morning allow me to show you from chapter 3 of Joshua how we as Christians and as a church can get pass our Jordan’s in our lives. There are 4 steps that we must take to guarantee that we will be able to get past those obstacles that block our way and enter our Canaan or Promise Land.