The Jordan River is the longest and most important river in Palestine.
With Joshua as their leader the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River to achieve their goal of reaching the promised land.
Of course, my title does not really refer to the actual geographical Jordan River, but does refer to all of those little obstacles that get in our way as we attempt to live out the plan God's has for us.
Obstacles such as worrying about the future, paralyzing fear, hypothetical what if situations, procrastination, and so many other things tend to be our "River Jordans"?
Even reading the news can stimulate our fears concerning the future. Reading through the news this morning I saw that hundred of quakes have rattled Yellowstone and there is unrest in Iran. While these things concern me regarding the future I’m not going to allow them paralyze my actions. I have things to do…..I have a life to lead regardless of what might be going on in the world.
Joshua 1 explains that after Moses died the Lord instructed Joshua to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River. They had to cross the river to reach the Promised Land. As long as they remained along the banks the Israelites could never experience the life that God wanted them to have.
The people had all sorts of fears and hypothetical situations they worried about, but God doesn’t want us to worry about the future. Matthew 6:34 tells us…Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own. Just simply looking about us at the marvels of nature we have to realize we are NOT in control. If we waste our time worrying about the future then we are attempting to control things. We are attempting to take overpower the Lord. That cannot be done.....
Worry paralyzes our actions. It keeps us from doing what we should be doing.
Worry produces procrastination, yet Ecclesiastes 11:4 states….Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Procrastination comes in many forms but at it’s root is perfectionism. That’s it for me, anyway. I often keep from beginning something, completing something, even trying something new because I want it to be perfect the first time. Even this piece of writing is giving me fits because I want it to be perfect. I want to make my thoughts clear.
I want things to be done the right way at the right time, but that mindset is so flawed. Sometimes the perfect time just isn’t going to happen…..Sometimes I'm just not going to find the exact words I want.
We have to remember to plan our future….to plan our actions. Planning for the future is imperative. It IS where we are going to spend our time….in the future. God never did anything on a whim…..there is no spontaneity with God. He teaches us over and over that we should plan our work and work our plan. Joshua 1: 11…Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies read. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for you own. God had a plan for getting the Israelites across the Jordan River.
Sometimes we need to remember to let certain things go that hold us back. Joshua 1: 2-3 explains how God reminds Joshua that Moses is gone. They can’t sit by the river and worry. They have to move on. God tells Joshua….Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them – to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
We can learn more about that God wants us to do if we stay in the word. Joshua was reminded of this. Joshua 1:8 states….Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Scripture will give us the guidance we need…..Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance…Proverbs 20:18 and Proverbs 16:9….In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
And of course, we have to build upon faith and remember that faith is an action. We have to be moving through our plans. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. Joshua 1: 6-7, 9 explains….Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or left. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
We have to have courage…..courage that enables us to move even when we face fear.
Of course Joshua 3 explains how the priests at the direction of Joshua stepped out into the Jordan River on faith, and faith alone enabled them to cross the river on dry land. The text goes on to state that God had caused a dam to form up the river approximately seventeen miles…. and the Israelites were unaware.
Go ahead…..step out on faith. Stay in the Word…..make a plan with God…..step out into the waters of your own personal River Jordan and move on to your reward.