By Randy Harmon
Pastor, Rock Springs Baptist Church, Greenbrier
Focal Passage: Joshua 3:7-17
There is an old gospel song titled, “I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone.” It is a song about entering Glory at life’s end, but its premise is true for Joshua. He was able to enter into the Promised Land, not under his own power, but by the power of God who exalted, empowered, and enabled him.
In those cases when God leads us to do the impossible, He will also empower and enable us as He is exalted through our obedience.
Exalted by God (v. 7). God was getting ready to increase Joshua’s credibility and influence for His glory. The people needed leading, and God had just the right person in mind. Since Moses had been such a strong leader, something significant would be necessary to help the people accept Joshua’s leadership. Many churches have seen significant leadership through individuals God has used throughout the history of the church. It may be easy to look back on what God has done in the past and long for the return of those days. God builds on strong leadership and helps His people celebrate past victories as a means to move forward into the future. As the church moves into the future, God will exalt Himself by calling leaders to move His church forward (Acts 20:28)
Empowered by God (vv. 8-10). Through God’s power the people would cross into and possess the land. By God’s power the pagan people whom God had used to prepare the land for His people would be dispossessed and conquered. Through God’s power His people would be successful in battle. His power was about to be displayed in a mighty way in the crossing of the Jordan and into the future of His people. He is ALL powerful. It may seem that God is not displaying His power in our world today, but if we look around we will see. He is still ALL powerful God. He is still in control.
Enabled by God (vv. 11-17). The Ark of the Covenant is symbolic of God’s presence with His people. In this instance, it symbolizes the fact that God Himself was crossing ahead of His people. God would miraculously stay the flow of the Jordan so His people might cross. Added to this miracle is the fact that the river was at flood stage.
There is no place where God will call us to go where He has not already been. When He calls us to His task, He goes ahead of us and prepares the way. Even when things do not go according to our preconceived expectations, God is at work. God enabled His people to cross into the Promised Land.
In March, a team from our association traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip. We were to leave on Thursday morning, catch a connecting flight and arrive in Guatemala City on Thursday afternoon. Weather delayed our flight out which caused us to miss our connecting flight and required an extra two days of travel. Our arrival was delayed until Saturday morning. This was not what we anticipated, and was a frustrating experience. Despite the delay, God was working ahead of our team to prepare hearts to hear the gospel. We determined that either God wanted us to arrive later, or Satan was trying to hinder us. God still worked. Our time of ministry was condensed. God had a plan. His flight was not delayed; He was not hindered by weather. He was right on time, and He always is!
We can be confident in God’s power as He is exalted in and around us, empowers us to do His work, and enables us to do His will!
— Harmon is pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church, Greenbrier.