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Oceans

July 20, 2016

You call me out upon the waters... 

This week has been our annual vacation in Florida. My Jesus place.  I have been reflecting over the last year. This trip looks so much different than last years. I have been reading over a passage in the book of Joshua this week. Imagining being in the shoes of the Israelites thousands of years ago. They had so many unknowns ahead of them. For them, the journey set before them meant life or death. But, they longed for freedom. So they went. I want freedom. Don't we all? Yet, as humans, it is so difficult to go. The road ahead is not always easy. In fact, for most it is very difficult and seems impossible. It is easier to stay where we are. Stagnant. Paralyzed by fear and doubt. Just where the enemy wants us.  In this passage, Joshua was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land. They came to the point in their journey where they couldn't go any further. They had no idea how they would cross the Jordan river. Joshua, their leader, told them that God would do wonders among them. God told Joshua that God himself would be exhalted through him and that it would be clear among the nations that God is with them and is the source of their strength. There is no way they could cross the river without Him.  Then the Lord told Joshua to share with his people, "when you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan." It was then God would work.  Very clearly God spoke and said to stand still in those rushing waters.  He didn't ask them to stand on the side where it was safe. He asked them to get their feet wet. He asked them to stand in the water. The very waters that would kill them if they tried to cross in their own strength.  In obedience, the priests did as the Lord asked. They took a step into the river and waited. When they did, the waters parted. In that moment God safely led the Israelites across the river.  Amazing how God works. He can do the impossible. Freedom is found when we follow Him. When we say Yes! I can guarantee you that just like the Israelites each of us will come to a point in our journey where it looks like all hope is lost, that there is no possible way to get across the river. But in that moment, the Lord is asking us to take a step into the waters. He is asking us to simply trust Him. The battle is his. Not ours.  I sat in this very same spot on this very same beach one year ago. Like the Israelites, I too had a big river to cross. One that may very well kill me. I went kicking and screaming. Well maybe just in tears... But, I did it. I stepped into the water. 



It was in that very water that I felt the very peace and goodness that comes from the Lord. His promises were fulfilled in my life. Here I am now a year later and celebrating his faithfulness. My heart is full. He is worthy to be praised.  I am certain each of you reading this have faced a battle of your own or yours is in the distant future. I cannot reassure you that your battle will be easy or end well, but I can assure you that if you too are obedient and follow what the Lord is calling you to.... It will be worth it. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but I promise you it will be the best thing you ever do. Wholly surrendered“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Luke 9:23 ESV Jesus, you are worth it. May each one of us lay our battle down at your feet. Lay it all at the foot of the cross where it belongs. Jesus, it's all for you. Every single day. The good and the bad. The easy ones and the hard ones. You are worth it. I thank you that I can trust you to care for every single detail.  Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.... Joshua 3:1-17 ESV “Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.”

 

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