I set to reading the book of Joshua. Again. I always come back to Jericho and the Jordan. Joshua and the Israelites. I guess that’s a good thing since long ago I titled this blog, “Crossing Jordan.”
In a way I’m always crossing Jordan. Always probing or pondering Israelite themes like:
Rejoicing in The Rescue. Wandering the Wilderness.
Aching for the Land of Milk and Honey. Beholding the Journey.
So I read the book of Joshua again. And saw, for the first time:
Now, therefor, arise, go over this Jordan…
You would think I met this mandate before, being the very title of my blog and all. But, no. Skipped right over these seven small words:
So I decided to park there, in Joshua 1:2, like a tourist parked at the city bluff at sunset. The view never disappoints even the most casual onlooker. Here. Let me show you around:
Not yesterday. And don’t dare wait for tomorrow. I Am here now. In the present. I Am the gift of today. Stop looking back into the mist of yesterday. Stop trying to clear the air of tomorrow. The time is now, and now is the time to move.
With the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, and the passing of the torch to Joshua (“It came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua”), now, after these things…
Stand up. Gather your possessions. We are heading out. Rise up to receive your orders. Spread wide your palms and accept your benediction. I am going to bless you. I am going before you. I am Your God.
A command, not an invitation. Not an embossed Magical Disney Cruise-lines Vacation tour of distant lands. but a directive, a charge, a decree. A mandate to go where your feet have not trod. Where courage and strength are demanded. (3x’s God says, “Be strong and courageous.”) Where fear and anxiety declare war against you, but where your God remains.
And it will be necessary to utterly abandon outside distractions in order to know God, follow God, and find that His way is prosperous. Where getting lost in relationship with Him is the only way to remain on the right path. This is not so much an enticing offer, but a laying down of the gauntlet. Will you follow Me?
Yes, it must be overcome. Yes, you may feel overwhelmed. But I will overpower it all. You’re right. The land is vast. The people are intimidating. You see it all correctly. This is huge! But I am with you.
This one. Right here. Not that one. Here, where you find that your right foot is already standing in the swell. Yes, the one directly across from your biggest enemy. Do not to step to the left or the right. Do not look for a better, easier, less strenuous passage leading to a more secluded, unknown land. Stay here. This is the place I have chosen for you – a land that flows with milk and honey.
Just as your past has a name (“the wilderness and this Lebanon”), so this present situation, this obstruction to your future, has a name – the Jordan. The spring water-swollen, 1-mile raging torrent from the north. The escape from from the dry dessert air. The entryway to full freedom.
See what I mean? The beautiful details beckon a return visit. An extended stay in the city of across the Jordan. Maybe even a venture into the history and chronicles of Jericho.
So I’m desperate to know – what do you see? What has God taught you about Joshua, and the Jordan, and the time as right as now? I’d just love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, or like us on Facebook and continue the conversation there.
Might I Pray for Us?
Dearest Jesus, You call us to such a time as this. Now. Today. The present moment. The gift of the moment. You prepare our path, and set our feet on the banks of the crossing. You beckon us, “Come. Arise. Stand to receive your blessing. Stand to receive your orders. My name be praised. My work be done. And you, my beloved, will declare it to the nations. Yes, it’s big, for I am bigger than you imagine. Yes, it’s intimidating, for I am formidable. Be strong and courageous. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Will you follow? Look, your foot is already in the waters. Will you trust Me?” The crossing has already begun. Help me hold on to only You. Amen.