On the edge of greatness: Week 4
After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Israel faced the Jordan River at flood stage. They could either cross over to a purposeful future or stay behind in aimlessness and futility.
Bottom line: Crossing Over Into A Purposeful Future Requires Commitment
Something To Talk About:
- A Commitment to Cross Over Requires a Certainty of God’s Direction: The children of Israel had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and it was up to Joshua to lead them into the promised land; to cross over the Jordan river. Crossing the Jordan river and any “river” in our life requires that we know God’s direction in our lives. God’s paths seldom make sense. Often in life God leads us straight into what looks like an impossible situation where even our best resources are not enough to get us through. This is how the Israelites felt when God led them to the banks of the Jordan River at flood stage and commanded them to step out into the water and go across.These moments are not obstacles, but opportunities to see God’s power displayed. Are we willing to trust God to make a way where there is no way? Our job is to consistently ask God for His direction in your life. When He shows the path for you to follow, then trust Him and His plan. You’ll quickly find that there’s no more fulfilling, peaceful, and thankful place to be in this life than soundly in the center of God’s direction for your life.
- A Commitment to Cross Over Requires an Activity of Personal Consecration: Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the LORD will do wonders among you tomorrow.” (Joshua 3:5) The word consecrate means “to prepare, to dedicate, to be hallowed, to be holy, to be separate or set apart.” God was telling His people that if they were going to cross the uncrossable and follow the will of the Lord, they must be set apart to Him. They must be holy. Consecration means to set aside the typical and put my spirit on ready to see where God is working around me so that I can join Him. On the eve of one of the greatest days in their history, Israel was commanded to be certain they were right with God–to examine their lives, confess and forsake sins, and devote themselves wholly to the Lord. We are to set aside the typical and put my spirit on ready to see where God is working around me so that I can join Him.
- A Commitment to Cross Over Requires a Dependency on Divine Intervention: The Bible speaks of divine intervention from beginning to end. There is not a page of the Bible that doesn’t boast of the glory of God, the goodness of God, and the divine work of God. In the Old Testament, the raging waters of the Jordan River was the last obstacle that the children of Israel would encounter before they entered the promised land. Crossing the Jordan River was very symbolic, but the actual physical crossing was a problem. There is no bridge to walk safely over, nor boat to carry them over. He dried up the Jordan River, not just to get His people to the other side, but also so “…all the nations of the earth might know that the LORD’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:24) We need a divine intervention of God to cross over the rivers in our lives. If God is not involved, then you are stuck. God desires to assure us like He did Joshua that He is with us today, not just yesterday or tomorrow, but right now. God wants to reveal His Presence and power to you and lead you across your Jordan River.
- What are some of the rivers in our lives that we need to crossover.
- What does God use in your life that gives you signs or helps you find your direction? How do we eliminate u-turns, changes in direction?
- God shares a lot of His desires for us to follow. What are some of those? What’s one area of your life where you wish you knew what God wanted you to do?
- In finding God’s direction for our lives, is it more important to choose the right do, or becoming the right who?
- Consecrate means to have a solemn dedication for a special purpose or service, to set apart as sacred. Joshua told the Israelites to consecrate themselves. Why? How?
- What does a consecrated life look like? How do we put this into practice? Is consecration something that we do just once?
- Everyone needs divine intervention at one time or the other: agree or disagree and why?
- What are some examples of divine intervention in your life?
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
Take one thing home with you:
Whether it is large or small, not crossing our personal River Jordan leaves us in our personal wilderness, like those who first approached the River Jordan. We know what we must do, but don’t believe we are brave enough or courageous enough to cross. The decision to move across is deeply personal and unique to each of us.
Inevitably it means letting go and just crossing. It means remembering the times God was with you in the past. Sometimes it takes a friend to encourage you. Ironically, the moment you cross over, you immediately feel relief and are rid of your fears. Many times you may be left thinking what was the fuss all about. This crossing strengthens and revitalizes us. Most importantly we will know God was with us.
And this is the essence of our relationship with God; letting our fears go to accept God’s promised land of milk and honey.