Your River of Challenge

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“And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:13 ESV

Some of us when we see a river of challenges separating us and where we are now in our lives from where God wants to take us next in His will for our lives see the river and make it abundantly clear we have no intention of crossing over to the other side where God wants to lead us. We figure if we’re going to where God wants to lead us, we’ll wait until those challenges are gone thanks very much – or head off in a different direction altogether where we can feel good, comfortable, safe, secure, and where the territory is familiar. Some of you reading this right now might be in exactly such a place. Knowing full well God is beckoning you to something new – whether it be a calling, a job, a relationship, a letting go of something or someone, a new geographic location, sharing the Gospel with someone, entering into ministry work, taking on a volunteer job, back to school, learning something new, turning away from something, etc. – but refusing to take even one step in that direction because of the river of challenges separating you from that new place He is calling you.

When Moses died and Joshua took over leading the Israelites toward the promised land, the Lord gave them some wild instructions when they came upon the mighty Jordan river separation them from where they were headed. He told the priests to carry the ark of the covenant INTO the river. How astonishing that only when they walked INTO their river of challenges, when they fully faced the challenge, God miraculously dealt with the powerful waters so the people could get safely across. God did NOT tell them to walk in by themselves. He told them to go in with the ark of the covenant. God’s law. God’s covenant. God’s promises to those who obey Him. God’s Word to them – and to us.

When God’s Spirit leads us forward to a new destination, we need to hold onto the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word in flesh, the Word of God which is the Bible, and God almighty through Christ. God may not take our challenges away by keeping back the mighty river as He kept the river from them until they reached the other side, but He will lead us safely through to the other side, to where He is leading us, when we hold on for dear life to Him and to His Word in love, praise, adoration, reverence, honor, humility, submission, surrender, worship, awe, and obedience. Even as I write this, I face a river as my flesh cries out to run for dear life away from it. But I choose in God’s strength to follow His Spirit as He leads me to my next destination. Safely in His everlasting arms. And you?

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