Those of us who have had children remember baby’s first step. We
practiced walking with them. They gripped our finger with their tiny
hands. We walked. They held on. Eventually, we dropped one hand and
walked some more. Then we wriggled our other hand loose from their
tight little fist. The child wobbled tentatively. They never did this
before. “Come on,” we encourage. “Come on. Walk to Daddy. Walk to
Mommy.” They wobbled some more. Then cautiously they put one foot out
and wobbled some more. As they got more confidence, they put the other
foot out again. And again. They fell. They get up. They fell again.
They got up again. Soon they were walking everywhere on their own.
Isn’t that how we are with our faith? Sometimes wobbly? Tentative?
What does it take for you to take the first step of a new adventure?
We understand what’s required, but many times we’re not willing to
take that first step of faith. The naysayers descend with their
discouragement: “You can’t do that.” and their, “You’re too (old,
young, skinny, fat, unskilled) for that.” and their, “You don’t have
the right qualifications for that.” It’s easy for them to cast doubts
when they aren’t doing the stepping out.
What hinders you from taking that first step? Sometimes we get in the
way when God is waiting for us. Sometimes it’s little things. A sour
attitude, a naysayer, fear of the unknown, a flimsy excuse. We can
dream up excuses all day. Moses did. Isaiah did. Thomas did. But men
like Noah and Abraham and Daniel and David and Joseph didn’t worry
about stepping out in faith. They were all willing to take first
steps, despite the possibility of challenging times ahead. Rahab was
willing to risk her life and the lives of her family for men she had
never met. Hers wasn’t a step. It was a giant leap of faith.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find more critical first steps than the
Israelites took in faith when they crossed the Jordan River. They were
taking the first step into an adventure – into a whole new life in the
promise land. God’s people had crossed the Red Sea with Moses, but all
those people died in the desert. The group Joshua led had never been
here before. They had heard stories about the promise land and about
crossing the Red Sea. Now, here they were on the verge of crossing
over the Jordan River. This was an adventure for which they were ill
prepared. There were no defined parameters.
Crossing the Jordan would take preparation. Joshua prepared them by
providing the plan his people were to follow. They were to camp by the
river for three days. At the appointed time the priests were to carry
the ark ahead of them at a distance of about 3,000 feet (or about 30
football fields). Joshua told them to keep their eyes on the ark. “Do
not come near it,” Joshua said, “that you may know the way by which
you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” Joshua 3:4.
They were prepared.
The next thing Joshua told them to do was to consecrate themselves.
Consecration meant the people needed to recognize they were set apart
to see the power of God at work. Consecration also implies
purification. We can not see the power of God at work in our lives
unless we are pure, unless we have no unconfessed sin in our lives.
After they consecrated themselves, God elevated them. The call of the
heart of God is for us to experience the great adventure of faith. God
was about to elevate Joshua to a level of leadership that would
convince the Israelites of God’s protection and provision. “This day,”
God said to Joshua, “I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all
Israel that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will
be with you.” Joshua 3:7.
Can you imagine what the Israelites thought as they watched the
priests who carried the ark step into the water? What did they think
when the waters stood up and rose in one heap to a great distance up
river? They were all smack dab in the middle of conquering the
impossible. Did they gasp as they tip-toed in their sandals across dry
ground that just a few minutes ago was a river overflowing its banks?
The crossing gave them all an opportunity to demonstrate true faith.
It gave them the opportunity to witness God’s mighty provision. And it
gave them the opportunity to experience the impossible.
When you meditate on this seemingly impossible story you discover some
things about God. First of all we discover that we can trust God to
give us instructions, just like he gave to Joshua. We can rely on God
to make provision for us. God’s plan for His people was for them to
inhabit the land he promised to Abraham way back in Genesis. God
provided everything Joshua and the Israelites would need to get there.
We also discover that we can trust God for the impossible. And we can
rest assured that our blessings come from action.
The Israelites couldn’t wish their was into the promise land. They
couldn’t get there any other way except to take action. To take the
What about you? Are you ready for God to show you unbelievable things
you do not know? Are you willing to cross your Jordan Rivers and trust
God to take you where He wants you to go.
You adventure begins when you become willing to take action. To take
the first step.