“TOMORROW THE LORD WILL DO AMAZING THINGS AMONG YOU.”
One thing I’ve noticed after living a lot of years is that some years are just harder than others. Most all of us have struggled through a few of those years. You know the kind—the ones that have sent you spiraling, the ones that have wreaked havoc in your world, the ones that will always be remembered as your hardest challenge ever just to get through. Well, good news. You’re almost there. And whatever we may walk through in this life, I’m constantly reminded of the One who holds all the broken pieces together and makes them fit again, the very One who alone is able to give purpose through all the pain, and bring great blessing through the awful mess. We all are constantly entering the future, moment-by-moment. As we gaze ahead at the challenges, filled with words like cancer, creditors, and crisis, loss of our loved ones, accidents it's easy to conclude that we're stuck in the wilderness, away from the abundance of God. As we consider a change for the better, so many of us throw in the towel: "This is just my lot in life! I can't help it." We can do this as the Body of Christ as well. We can't see our way clear, don't know what's lurking under the rushing water of our Jordan. We've looked at the bottom line, we've assessed the size of the plans we believe came from God, and concluded that there's no human way across. But I want to encourage you “God is doing amazing thing amongst us, and thanks be to God who gives us the victory this day and every day of our lives in our hurts and pain”.
What do we do when we're facing or have been faced with the impossible?
Joshua 3: 5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” 6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.7 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’” 9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite.
Consecrate ourselves. (5) Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” The word “consecrate” means “to be made clean or holy”. It is presumptuous of us to think that just because we have been saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus that we can live our lives in any fashion we desire and expect God to respond to our prayers. Deuteronomy 23:14, 14For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. This means Personal repentance of every known sin (Isaiah 59:1,2) and Putting oneself on spiritual alert to see God at work.
Step out in faith and stand still (7-13). Look at v. 7-8: The LORD spoke to Joshua: "Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses. Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the waters, stand in the Jordan.' "Go to v. 13 now: When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the Jordan's waters, its waters will be cut off. The water flowing downstream will stand up [in] a mass."
The moment of truth has come! The priests, carrying the Ark of the Covenent, must step out into the flood waters and then stand still right there! The command of God to step into the water called for them to get their feet wet. Faith moves you forward in God's way, in God's timing. And there will come a moment when you must act on what God has said. If you don't, you'll never cross the Jordan. Understand this: Focusing on the Lord is essential. And consecrating yourself to the Lord is vital. But we will never cross the river unless we take that step of faith especially for those of us who are hurting. Our eyes and our hearts can be right on, but if we don't move our feet to meet the challenges, we will never progress in our lives . We must commit ourselves - our time, our energy, our money, our lives to what God is doing, or it won't happen. Our healing will never come. But let me quickly add something else here. I want you to notice an element in their trust that is present in all true faith. After they stepped out, they stood still (v.8). Why? They were waiting on the power of God. In all their activity, they maintained dependence. Their standing still testified to the fact that everything came from God. They were acknowledging that it wasn't their work that changed anything--it was God and God alone. They stepped out, and they stood still. That all God requires of us those who are hurting this New Year to have faith and more so to stand still no matter what people think of us or what circumstances bring our way. Be calm and still and know that God is working our better days for us in our lives.
Follow The Lord’s Presence (11) See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. You need to have the attitude that Moses had in Exodus 33:15, Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. Lord, I’m not going anywhere that You won’t go. I know that You will never lead me into anything that isn’t good and nurturing and wholesome because You have my best interest in mind. So where you go I will follow. Look at what happens in God’s presence. To overcome the pain that comes with our hurting situations we must have God’s presences with us always. That is my prayer for you our dear reader that to overcome whatever is ailing you may have the presence of our Almighty God always with you.
The Promise of Passage Through the Jordan (3:7–13)13 And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry 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, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.” It doesn’t matter what we face in every day of our lives, everything has a promise on the scriptures. Get the assurance of God’s blessings in whatever circumstance you are facing through the Holy Scriptures. Trust in His promises!
Trust God’s Word (13) And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” There is absolutely no way under natural law that this was going to happen. How would you have responded if you had been one of the priests carrying the Ark? “I don’t think so Joshua. You go on ahead and test the waters. If it’s OK then we’ll come!” Even when it does not make sense to us His word is the compass that we must follow to lead us to the promises God has given. You can ask and keep on asking just like Jesus said we are to do but when it comes right down to it are you really trusting God to do what His word says He will do?
Cross Over To The Promise (16) So the people crossed over opposite Jericho… I heard a great illustration about this very thing the other day and it refers to how the closer you get to your miracle the harder the enemy will work to defend his territory. You see the closer you get to reaching the goal the more stubborn the enemy gets to keep you from getting it. The Israelites where not just to cross over and enjoy the land but remember that they were to fight to occupy the land for the land was already occupied. For us who are hurting; don’t ever think the devil is done with only one attack; he might be back again and again but thank God because He’s Jehovah Nissi our banner. The battles that we will face every day are not our battles but HIS. Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Stand Firm (17) The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. As the priests stood there waiting for Israel to cross on a dry riverbed don’t you know that they were aware of what was happening upstream from them. The waters were piling up higher and higher. You could see it from where they were. Yet they never wavered. They knew that the One who had promised was able to see it through to the end. Ephesians 6:10-13, 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. In Joshua 3:17 and in Ephesians 6:13 the words that are translated “stood firm” (Hebrew) and “stand” (Greek) both have the same alternate translation. Both words mean, “to abide”. So once you have received your promise, your healing, your miracle, don’t just see it but abide in it; live in it. Take possession of it and stay there. Don’t let the devil force you out. He cannot unless you allow it.
Comforting thought for the new year
You see, nothing ever remains the same in this world. Things change. People move. Time goes by. Kids grow up. We all will certainly experience deep or unexpected loss at some point along the way. And sometimes our footsteps begin to falter on the things we’ve depended on so very much, but really aren’t meant to fully support us. We can’t simply rely on what surrounds us, even the people who we love most, because to fully lean on one thing or person means that they can never leave or change. But on Him, we can always rely. When we can’t find our way at times, when the tide has turned and the struggles seem fierce, when we feel overwhelmed, and the winds blow strong … He’s still there. Hope shines through. It may be just a glimmer but it’s enough to whisper His words of truth, “I see you, you are never alone. I will carry you through the fiercest of times, into places of peace, and will make your footsteps strong.” Sure foundation. Wind beneath our wings. Whisper of peace that calms the waves and storm. Glimmer of light in a dark world. That’s who Christ is. He is our Hope. Because He never changes. He’s stable, and sure, steadfast, unwavering. He conquered death to set the captives free. He reigns forever and graces us with power to live strong, bold lives.
Don’t ever doubt or fear that He’s not with you. He hasn’t lost control. He hasn’t forgotten you. Not ever.
We don’t have to be afraid of the storms, difficult years, uncertainty over the future, or changing times.
For He knows our way, and He goes before us. Pure light shining greatness against skies of dark.
Hope rises most powerfully in stormy gales. And He still whispers His calm assurance to our hearts today…
Personal Prayer for the New Year
Dear God, Thank you that you’ve carried me through the uncertainty of deep waters, through the flames of trials, and through the pain of hard losses. I’m constantly aware of how much I need you, your grace, your strength, your power working through even the toughest days. I don’t ask for cheap grace, because I know it cost You, Your life. You gave everything for me, so I could have a new beginning—every day of every year. Thank You for Your underserved favor and unlimited mercy—and Your grace, that keeps on giving. Thank You for making me Your child. Your promise is like gold to me: Your offer of forgiveness, Your unfailing compassion, and Your new mercies daily. Help me to keep my focus first on you this season. Thank you that you came to give new life, peace, hope, and joy. Thank you that your power is made perfect in my weakness. Fill me with your joy and the peace of your Spirit. Direct my heart and mind towards you. Thank you for your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with me. For you never leave me. Thank you for your daily powerful Presence in my life, that I can be assured your heart is towards me, your eyes are over me, and your ears are open to my prayers. Thank you that you surround me with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care. I choose to press in close to you this New Year, and keep you first in my heart and life. Without you I would surely fail, but with you, there is great hope. Thank you for your healing power, thank you for bringing me into this new season up ahead. I look forward to all that You still have in store. I need You, Lord. Without You, I can’t meet the heavy demands of life or the unrelenting pressures that I ’ll face this coming year. I’m making a new commitment today—not a New Year’s resolution—but a new desire to place You where You always belong, first place in my life. Make the “I will’s” of Scripture become my affirmations: “I will trust You; I will praise You; I will follow You.” I will replace fear with faith, knowing You are always with me. And with You on my side, it will be a victorious New Year. I want to exchange my past disappointments for Your divine appointments this year. My life is Yours; my relationships belong to You; everything I have is Yours, Jesus. Set my feet on the right path this year, and grant wisdom so I can make right choices that will honor You. Let me see others like You see them, as precious ones You created. Renew the gifts and abilities You’ve so generously given me so I can bless others as You’ve blessed me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.