Traversing the Impassable

Wading in

“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…” (Joshua 3:15-16a)

A similar event to the parting of the Red Sea. You don’t really hear about Joshua and his troupe crossing the Jordan as often as you do Moses. While Joshua had his own unique exploits, the parting and crossing of Jordan were no less spectacular. Granted, the Red Sea was, well, a sea and Jordan was just a river. Without God, they’re both impossible to ford on dry ground. From there to here, then. God tells Joshua “as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” (3:7) No sense comparing your circumstances to those of another. As long as you’re totally invested in what God is having you do, don’t concern yourself with the size or natural outworking of your ministry or following (especially in this age) or what-have-you. The purity (and therefore effectiveness, see Luke 16:10) of your calling requires that you give it your all. Step into the water. God will prove Himself strong for you. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Instead, wade in. While water might symbolize the impassable and the impossible, it also symbolizes God’s glory: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14) Remember, the river Jordan crests “all the time of harvest”. I may be going all over the place with allusion here. Point is, God has the ability to make things good for you. The symbolism inherent in these stories is meant to both build your faith and buoy you until God makes a way where you saw none before.

“And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5)

Waiting out

Rewinding a generation back to Moses and their flight from Egypt, to the banks of the Red Sea. Moses tells the people to “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew you to day.” (Exodus 14:13) Does God love you enough to deliver you? It’s one thing to wait out miserable circumstances that you had no hand in stirring up. It takes time to untangle hearts and iron out feelings and repay things owed–material/immaterial. Does the love of God shine through during these times? And what about circumstances that we did cause? Do we look for the love and understanding of the Father when we wait out circumstances that we can’t figure out on our own? One of the most powerful realizations to have during times of confusion is that God understands. He does.

Isaiah, chapter thirty, opens with God expressing His dismay and shock at His children looking elsewhere for what they need. “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!” (verses 1-2) It would seem a similar thing is happneing in Isaiah’s time as happened during Moses’. The children of Israel tell Moses “For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14:12) to which Moses gives his response to “stand still”. He then makes this powerful declaration: “for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” God wants to effectively deal with, once-and-for-all, the things that have been plaguing you throughout your life. Issues of addiction and powerlessness he wants to replace with self-control and courage. Lack of insight and vision does He want to fill with a perspicacity that sees what’s going on and continues to look at Him in spite of what your feelings tell you. And He can do it no other way than to have you be still. “But let patience have her perfect work…” (James 1:4a)

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15)

That’s a hard one. The last part of that verse says “and ye would not.” The cycle repeats itself many times over and generation after generation. So prove that last part wrong. God wants to do new things, big things and when we find ourselves inundated and in over our heads, it’s times like these that we must lay down our logic as to how to unravel things and simply press in to God. It’s actually not hard. The difficulty arises when we think we know better than God which way we’re headed.

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