“ Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
This verse has strengthened me several times when I had to face many challenges in life. And I’m sure it has helped you too in your christian walk. Though we do not literally pass through waters or fire in real life, in the spiritual realm, there are many forces that try to devour us and they work against our spiritual walk. But in Joshua 3, we see how the people of Israel, literally passed through the waters of Jordan without the river overflowing over them. And today’s devotion is to encourage every believer to boldly cross over the Jordan that is blocking them to reach their promise, with the presence of God in front of them.
We read in Joshua chapter 3, how the people of Israel crossed the river Jordan. I read in an article that the river Jordan is not that difficult to cross over as it is not overflowing with water all the times of the year. The origin of Jordan is mount Lebanon, which is full of snow during the winter. So during the summer days, this snow melts and the river overflows. It was during this time that the Israelites were asked to cross over. We get a confirmation on this from the Bible too(verse 15 says ”for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest”)
If you read the first verse of Joshua chapter 3, you will understand that Joshua and the people of Israel lodged at the banks of Jordan before crossing over. What were they doing before crossing Jordan? Do you think that they were devising various plans of facing their obstacle? We see in verse 2 that after three days the officers went through out the camp and told the people what to do…What does that mean? For three days, Joshua might have been enquiring God how to face this challenge. He might have been asking Lord to give him a direction of action. How would we react if we were in such a situation? WE would have come up with hundred ideas to cross Jordan. Forget about three days, as soon as we see Jordan, we would have jumped into our own conclusions about the next step in our lives. But Joshua knew God’s heart because he decided to ask God’s guidance. He knew that the next venture is something that they have never gone through and to successfully face that challenge, they need the ultimate guidance of the God of Israel.
The next thing Joshua did was to trust in the miracle-working God completely. He saw a potential of miracle in that overflowing obstacle of Jordan. He was so sure that the God whom He serve, will surely do a miracle for them. So he asked the people of Israel to sanctify themselves before facing that challenge. I believe that God must have been so pleased with Joshua. For God to do a miracle for you, He expects a certain kind of sanctification from our part. A time of self-examination where you check whether you have anything that is against the will of God….A time for tuning up yourself to the frequency of God….A time to consecrate yourself to be Holy before the Holy God.
Do you face a Jordan today? An obstacle that prevents you from reaching your promised land? How do you react seeing that challenge? Do you plunge into it without even asking God what to do about it? God was pleased when Joshua spent few days at the banks of Jordan asking God to give him the guidance. Not only that he waited for God’s direction, but He believed that God will do a miracle for them, though there were many impossibilities. He knew a sanctification is needed to receive that miracle from God and requested the people to do it. He asked the ark to go in front of the people and God was pleased with Joshua ( And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Joshua 3:7)
We read in verse 11 that the ark of the Lord went into the waters even before the people crossed over Jordan. When you depend on God’s guidance and not trust own your own understanding and sanctify yourself to receive the miracle of God, He will go before you. Our Lord will be the first one facing the waters of Jordan. He will be with you when you cross that challenge. God will not only go before you, He will do a miracle for you. Read verse 16, ”the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea ) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
The upstream that tries to drown you will be stopped from far and the downstream that make you lose your balance will retrace its path and will start flowing backwards…only because the ark of the Lord went in front of you. Today, the Jordan that you are facing might be so scary…it may look so deep and dangerous. But the Lord is doing a miracle for you. When you take the step to go into the water, God will do the miracle for you. He will work against the principles of nature and cause the upstream to stop and downstream to flow back to its origin….so that you will receive a dry ground to cross over. “Fear not, I am with you”