Just as the Israelites were on the verge of entering the Promised Land, God commanded the priests to step into the water. Hmm? Not exactly what you might expect, but no big deal, right? Wrong! The Jordan River was at flood stage! We’re talking wet feet and probably a few other wet things here.
Now surely God knew the Jordan River was there, and He knew that it was at flood stage when He told the Israelites to cross over to their Promised Land. Still He gave the command to Joshua: “. . . Arise, GO OVER THIS JORDAN, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give them. . .” (Joshua 1:2).
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like getting my feet wet – especially when I have my shoes on! Ladies, you know the deal! Confession – yes, I take certain shoes off in the rain – even if I am wearing hose. The way I see it, I can buy another pair of Hanes for a WHOLE lot less money than I can a pair of shoes! I learned the hard way, but it only took one pair of spotty leather pumps for me to learn to save the shoes!
Anyway, back to the Israelites and the Jordan River.
Now, if we didn’t know before, we certainly knew after the Red Sea episode that God could part the waters. In Exodus 4:21 Moses stretched his hand out over the waters, and the Scriptures tell us that the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. We know, too, that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:24), so what’s up with the wet feet? He parted the Sea for Moses. Why not part the river for the priests?
I think it’s less about the wet feet and more about our desire for God to go first. That way, we don’t mess up our shoes. We don’t have to work as hard. We don’t have to wonder how things are going to go. We don’t get wet feet.
It’s that hesitancy to get wet feet that can keep us camped out on the wrong side of the Jordan River. It’s that waiting for God to go first that can keep us from our miracle. Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Several examples in the Scriptures – the Red Sea and the Jordan River encounters being two of them – teach us that we are always to exercise faith in God. Sometimes that faith requires us to be still and wait patiently (think Joseph in Potiphar’s prison), but at other times, it calls us to step up (think Nehemiah), step out (think Naomi and Ruth) and step into the waters (the Israelite priests).
Contrary to our belief, there can be just as much faith involved in taking personal initiative as there is in waiting passively for the Lord to provide.
Pray hard. Listen hard. Swallow hard. And go first! Step out in faith knowing that our God sees, hears and is faithful!
THIS WEEK seek God’s desire for you – patience or a step of faith. What would the latter look like? What’s holding you back? Are you being obedient in patience or fearful in waiting? Seek God’s direction for you and your life. He will give you peace about what YOU are to do!