Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Get Your Feet Wet First

"When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap." Joshua 3:13
After 40 years of wandering in the desert, God was about to lead His people into the Promised Land. He freed them from bondage in Egypt, dealt with their rebellious, ungrateful attitude, while teaching them that He is a God of his Word along the way, and was now ready to deliver them to their new home, which just happened to be across a swollen turbulent river. Did I mention this Promised Land was inhabited by giants and warriors?
The first step into the Land of Milk and Honey was one of faith. God did not say "Stand back and watch what I am going to do with this river." No, instead, He told the priests holding the ark to step in. It was then that He caused the water to stack upon itself in a "single heap."
It is easy to assume that when God has called us to something, or is leading the way through a wilderness towards a promised land of some sort, the way will be made completely smooth, the waters shallow and calm. Instead, He asks us to step right in. He invites us to feel the rush of the current, the power of the waters raging around our ankles. It is once we are committed, standing in the slippery edge, in danger of being swept away, that He rolls up the waters for us. It is only once we have stepped out in faith that He leads us on the next part of the journey.
I wish that He would say to me, "Stand here and let me show you what your journey will look like, all the barriers I will remove, and, oh yeah, here's a taste of that milk and honey I was talking about."
But He doesn't.
As the nation of Israel was passing through the dry riverbed of the Jordan, the Lord instructed the leaders of the twelve tribes to pick up the biggest rock they could carry from the middle of the river. Once on dry ground, they were to build an altar with those rocks to forever be a witness to the miracle God had performed for them.
We should do the same thing. Not necessarily with rock piles everywhere, because my kids would turn my altar into a bike ramp, but with a tangible reminder of the goodness of God. Maybe a journal entry, maybe a photograph, just something for generations to come to see what God has done in your life.
Remember though, as you are standing on the banks of an adventure God has been pulling you toward, don't stand there staring at the swirling torrent of water. Put a step out towards the promise, dip your toes in, and see the miracle God performs for you. And don't forget to tell the world about it.