Monday, September 19, 2005

Just one step...

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. Tell
the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the
Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.' "
Joshua 3:7,8

This was a different command than the one God had given Moses some 40 years earlier. Joshua and the Isrealites just new they were to go to the river and stand there, they didn't know what to expect. Now, even though it had been 40 years since the last time God had asked them to cross a river in a dramatic fashion, they remembered... History reminded them of how powerful God is, there were chariots at the bottom of the Red Sea to prove it. Even though they didn't know what to expect, they obeyed...through faith.

This is very difficult, in fact, the Isrealites "missed the boat" here many times. They had to be reminded of God's power and influence in their lives constantly. But this time they remembered!

We have to do the same thing. As I have said before, I am tired of being around leaders that constantly question God's power and influence by their inactivity (they would never do so out loud!). How many times has God given so much more than we ever imagined or expected? How much has he blessed us as a country, as individuals and as a Church? Time after time, he has provided when we need it, often in an extraordinary manner. Yet we are not willing to walk down to the river and stand in the water and anticipate his power!

Church leaders talk about faith, yet they are immobilized by fear, even when time after time, God has provided when we needed it. It is refreshing to see leaders that have not stepped into concrete and waited for it to harden, but stepped into the water of the Jordan river anticipating God's awesome power.

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, 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 priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. Joshua 3:14-17

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18