Taking that first step
I was reading in the book of Joshua this morning about the Jordan River crossing. The Israelites could see the Promised Land from where they were camped, but they had a huge problem; the river had to be crossed. If that was not bad enough, it was flood season and the water looked fierce and menacing. Those waiting to cross had been told the story of the “parting of the Red Sea” forty years before; but few had experienced it. Remember; the older generation who crossed the Red Sea died in the desert because of their unbelief.
God could have instructed Joshua to raise his staff and part the water; he had done it for Moses. This time, however, He required Joshua to carry out a strange order. Joshua was instructed to tell the priests who carried the ark to pick it up and step into the turbulent water. (I wonder what the priests were thinking!) When they stepped into the water, it parted and the children of Israel walked through to the Promised Land.
Joshua 3:5 gives a good clue to their success. It reads like this; “…Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Stepping into the roaring river could have caused the ark to tilt and fall. The priests knew they would die if they reached out and touched it to steady it. Yet, they carried out Joshua’s command. Why? Because they had spent time with God the night before and were prayed up! They took that first step; and the children of Israel followed.
What looms ahead of us sometimes stops us from taking that first step of faith. We think the problem is too foreboding. Afraid of what God might ask us to do, we hang out on the shore trying to construct a bridge; doing it our own way. He has the answer! He IS the answer! Just spend time with Him and ask for directions. But; be willing to do what He asks!
I remember the words of a song my daughter, Jennifer, sang as a young teen—“You’ll never get Abraham’s blessing with the Thomas kind of faith, your mountain will just stand there, in the same old place. If you have to see it first, feel it or touch it or taste, you’ll never get Abraham’s blessing, with the Thomas kind of faith.”
Stick your toes in the water—He’ll do the rest!