In the book of Exodus, Joshua and 12 spies crossed the Jordan River into the land that God had PROMISED to Israel. For all but Joshua and Caleb, the report back was a big “No thanks.” The giants were too big, the natives too many, and the armies too strong, blah, blah, blah. Fear ruled the hearts of Israel instead of trust, and into the desert they went- for 40 grueling years.
For those 40 years, Joshua sat outside the Tent of Meeting where Moses met with Yahweh. For those 40 years, Joshua waited patiently for the thing that he knew should have already been. For those 40 years, Joshua pitched a tent every night instead of living under a roof. So, when the Lord spoke to Joshua about entering the Promised Land, he was ready. No more fear. No more deserts. No more dust in his face. No more lack.
But, oh, wait just a minute. What about the obstacles? “Darn it, the Jordan River is flooded! How will we get across? Jericho is a fortified city! How can we possibly win?” Joshua didn’t know how to cross a flooded river, but he knew that God did- because God told him they were going across! As for Jericho, God would deal with that as well. Because Joshua knew God’s voice, he trusted.
My life, and yours too, probably, is a lot like ancient Israel, fearful and mistrustful of God. We do what they did- avoid their deepest fear in favor of another spin in the desert- cactus, scorpions and thirst. We are more willing to make friends with the enemies of our heart and souls (sin, despair, fear, abandonment) than we are to step into the River.
To put your foot in the Jordan River is to face the enemy that lurks deepest within you. Each of us has a deepest fear. It’s the place within us that we trust God the least. The voice that protects this fear sounds like, “God won’t come through for you here.” “You’ll try and fail, and then you will know that you are all alone.” “You can’t trust God with THAT!” It is a dark, lonely, shame-filled place.
Find that place, and you’ve found your Jordan River, your barrier to the Promised Land. 1 John 1:5 tells us that “God is light; in Him there is no darkness”. Invite Jesus into that darkness. Have the courage to ask Jesus to speak to it. Trust Jesus to minister to that hurt, and darkness will flee. The flooded Jordan will recede before you, and you will pass into your own promised land as if on dry land.
I recently put my foot in the Jordan. I stepped into my deepest fear and the most mistrustful place of my heart toward God. Jesus has met me every step of the way. I’m fighting some battles along the way, but He has met me where I didn’t believe I could be met. He showed up where I was sure he wouldn't. His light has dispelled the dark place of fear and mistrust in my heart. And, I can honestly say, “My life will never be the same again”. The sweet milk and honey of intimacy with our Lord in the parched desert of my wounded heart? I can’t even describe what happens in my soul.
So, where is your Jordan River? What are the giants that threaten you? What are the strong fortresses that you believe are too strong for you to overcome? Be Strong and Courageous- Joshua 1:8