Welcome to 2014! This is my first post of the year and I would like to thank everyone for reading my posts in 2013. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and read, commented, subscribed and kept visiting. Y’all give me the impetus to put pen to paper even when I’m too overwhelmed to.
I got into the elevator, was glad that I was alone as I needed the quiet to just reflect as I made my way to my destination, or at least until someone else joined in. I was headed to the top floor and for a split second I leaned against the wall of the elevator and shut my eyes willing the elevator to commence its ascent. You have no idea how shocked I was when the elevator took me all the way down, not just down to the ground floor, but down to the basement parking. Clearly I had forgotten to press the button for the floor I was headed to and the elevator responded to the next available call, to someone who actually pressed a button. Gladly we were both headed to the top floor and I had no need to hit the button again.Why did I make this obvious slip? Well, previously, there was usually a liftman waiting to push the button. He would ask ‘where are you headed ma’am?’ and all I had to do was respond politely and say ‘Floor X please’ and I was good to go.
So many times, we are like me; we know where we are headed and perhaps how to get there and we actually board but we forget to hit the button. There is a season where, like Moses, God always goes ahead us. He does the work and we just follow through. For instance, Moses stretched forth the rod and God parted the Red Sea for Israel to walk upon in between two walls of water. Imagine the awe of walking along a path that God had prepared all by Himself, all they had to do was step in. God pushed the button and they walked in, just like the lift man always pushed the button for me.
But when Moses died, and yes it was a tough transition because he died at the cusp of entering the Promised Land, the ‘Modus Operandi’ changed. Now, There was no stretching of the rod, Joshua had to get the Levites together and they were to cross the Jordan differently. Sometimes we don’t recognize the change in seasons. Like me, we wait for the Liftman to hit the button, we assume that we are Moses whilst our season calls for us to be Joshua’s. It is a big problem to attempt to cross the Jordan with the Red Sea strategies or bring God’s instruction from a previous season into the new one. The book of Joshua 3 gives us a full account of the story and I will highlight key learning points here.
First, God made them camp before the Jordan for 3 days. (Joshua 1:11). Here unlike the Red Sea where there was an immediate response, this time their frailty looked them in the face.
Secondly, Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the Ark of the Covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. This time, they took the presence of God with them and stepped in. They didn’t wait for God to go ahead, they literally set foot in a swollen river, for this was the season when the Jordan overflows its banks. In my view, even with God’s specific guidance, and with specific guidance from His word, this was still an impressive step of faith for Joshua..
We usually want the river to be dry before we even make a step; but God was truly calling Israel to step out in faith. (16-17) The Jordan is stopped and the people cross over on dry ground. As well, even with the flow of the river stopped, it was miraculous that the people could cross over on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan. God miraculously dried the riverbed so that they didn’t slog through marshy mud. This miracle obviously connects with the miracle the nation knew some 40 years earlier: the passing through the Red Sea. God brought them out of Egypt’s bondage with a miracle, and He brought them in to the Promised Land with a miracle. . Same miracle, different manifestations. One He goes ahead, second, He expects them to step out in faith.
I don’t know what season you are in, but perhaps you are waiting for God to go clear the Red Sea for you to walk through whilst God is waiting for you to go with His presence and put your feet in whatever swollen river lies between you and the promise and see him show up. That’s just like me resting in the lift expecting the liftman to push the button.
Perhaps, God is saying to you, Moses is dead, Joshua arise and take over your new season. Reminds me of a sermon Pastor Tony Rapu preached titled ‘Moses is dead’ and I’ll reproduce snippets here.
Moses” is where God was, “Joshua” is where God is.
When I dwell on the past I get stuck on “Moses”. In order to reach into the “Joshua” I must let go of “Moses”.
Moses brought us out but only ‘Joshua’ can take us in.
Moses was powerful but it is time for ‘Joshua’ to go where Moses never went.
God Himself buried Moses. Don’t dig up what God has buried. Don’t camp at the foot of the mountain awaiting Moses’ return.
The new generation must let go of the pain of the past. We must forgive the past to access the future .
‘Joshua’ was to make a conscious and deliberate effort to Rise up. He had to let go of the past.
Now for Joshua to just get up and walk away from all that Moses had done would be difficult. But God said “Joshua Rise up!”
The old had been a good friend to ‘Joshua’. So many fond memories. So many victories. To leave it all buried in the valley would be hard.
The Moses way of doing things was all ‘Joshua’ had ever known. Now he was to leave it all behind.
Whatever your season, it is time to Push that Button, it is time to arise and step out in faith. God is WAITING for you in the middle of the Jordan!!!
God bless you!