Have you ever been through a season of life that seemed as if you were constantly running into barriers? It may seem like roadblock after roadblock makes its way into your story, keeping you from your destination. I think it’s safe to say that all of us have encountered this at some point in our lives. Some of you are probably going through this right now. As I think about these times in life, Israel always comes to mind. In their journey towards the promised land, there seemed to be constant barriers.
One particular story that I have been meditating on is found in Joshua 3. Joshua has just been appointed the leader of Israel. His first order of business is to get the people across the Jordan river. This is a bigger issue than some of you may be imagining. I grew up in the woods with a creek that ran behind our house. I used to walk across this creek all of the time and even though the water was only knee deep, it was extremely difficult at times because of the current of the water and how slick the bottom was. If a creek was this difficult, I can’t imagine a river. To make matters worse, the Bible says that the Jordan was flooded. If you are unfamiliar, you don’t walk across water when it’s flooded. Ever.
“You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.'” – Joshua 3:8
Faced with these issues Joshua hears the word of the Lord. He instructs the people that the priest are going to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord and they will go first. He then says something absolutely insane. They are going to step into the flooded river and God is going to dry up the river so they can walk through. This is so interesting to me. The priests were the ones appointed by the Lord to carry the ark of the covenant. In the Old Testament, this was what housed the presence of God. In this story, the priest are literally carrying the presence of God with them across this river. In the new covenant, the Bible says that we have been made priests! Now we are the temple that houses the presence of God in the earth.
“And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” – Joshua 3:13
1. Carrying His presence will involve risk.
If you want to become a person that carries His presence with you, it will involve risk. God commanded the priests to step into the Jordan before He dried it up. This is a life threatening decision that they are making. To carry presence, you must come to a place in your mind where reason and rationale no longer influence your decisions, but only the word of Lord. Carriers of His presence are irrational thinkers. This will most certainly cause you to make some decisions that those without this degree of revelation will not understand. You must come to a place where you are willing to go beyond what seems logical to you and those around you.
2. There are promises that you cannot receive unless you carry His Presence.
There are going to be some rivers you are going to have to step into that are too strong for you to walk through on your own. You are going to be required to step into some things that you are no longer capable of controlling. There are rivers that He will ask you to step into that would destroy you if He wasn’t in the water. This is so important. This will allow God to take you promises that you would not have been able to receive on your own. If I give only what He requires of me, or only what I’m comfortable with, I limit myself to only receiving what I am capable of producing, rather than receiving what He is capable of giving. Remember the example I gave of the creek earlier? I can cross creeks in my own strength all day long but I can’t cross rivers without His presence. There may be some cool stuff on the other side of the creeks you’ve been crossing but there is a land flowing with milk and honey that He wants to give you on the other side of that river. Stop settling for crossing over creeks when God wants to take you through rivers!
Some of you are stuck on Jordan’s stormy banks. You have hit barrier after barrier, and roadblock after roadblock without ever reaching what He promised you. Become a carrier of His presence. Become a person that invites the presence of God into every area of your life. Become a person of devotion and wholehearted love for Jesus. Invite Him to rest in your waters for a little while. Become a carrier of presence and watch what kind of river He lets you cross.
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