Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Get Past Your Jordan (Part 4)

For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.  Joshua 4:23-24
Remember God’s Work
When all the people had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded one man from each of the 12 tribes to get a rock from the midst of Jordan and build a memorial on the Canaan side. These verses tell us that the purpose of the memorial was to remind successive generations of the power and faithfulness of God on behalf of His people. That memorial would be an important landmark to those who would come after.
By the same token, we need some memorials in our lives as well. However, we must use caution. We do not want to embalm the past and by doing so cripple the future. Many churches have done that and are suffering as a result. What we do want to do, however, is remember the things the Lord has done for us so that we can tell others about them so when we come that way again, we will remember that the Lord was faithful in that day and that He will be faithful in this day as well. Never forget what the Lord has done for you in your yesterdays. It is those yesterday experiences that will tide you over when the trials of today and tomorrow arise in your life!
The Picture In The Memorial
It is interesting to notice that Joshua constructed 2 monuments; one on the bank and one in the river. These 2 memorials served 2 different purposes. Notice what they were.
·      A Picture Of The Faithfulness Of God - The one on the bank of Jordan stood as a testimony to the faithfulness of God as I have just mentioned. It was there to remind others of what the Lord had done and of what He could do. Again, we need to remember the faithfulness of God in the past. It will help us cross the Jordan we face today.
·      A Picture Of The Faith Of The People - Now, what about the rock pile in the river? No one could see it but God! It stood as a monument to the faith of the people! You see, when you face a time of trial, others may be guilty of misjudging your motives and actions because they can’t see your heart. However, God knows the truth about your heart. Even though Israel couldn't see it, they knew the monument was there! They remembered that they had believed God then and it had worked. This was a monument in their hearts.
We need that same kind of monument as well. As I said, too often we are misjudged by others in our times of trial, but God alone knows you heart. When you have trusted Him and He has brought you through, never forget it! Build that monument in your heart, where only God can see it, and where you will never forget it. When the tough times come again, and it will, look at that monument of His faithfulness and of your faith and know that what worked before will work again. God will bring you through your Jordan!

Some of you are facing troubled waters now. I want you to know you can cross over. I encourage you to go before the Lord. Tell Him about the Jordan you are facing and allow Him to get you past it. There is a place of victory where you can shout in spite of your troubles. The first step in getting there is dealing with what is keeping you in your Jordan. It may be sin, it may be some person, it may be some trial, but whatever it is, God is greater than it is. Come and let Him take care of it for you.
Scripture to Claim:
I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
Psalms 77:1

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to Get Past Your Jordan (Part 3)

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…Ephesians 3:20

Our Problems are God’s Opportunities
As I mentioned earlier in the week; the children of Israel were facing a big problem. The river was over 1 mile wide and there were 2 million people who had to cross, and yet the Lord wanted them to go over. They couldn't build a bridge; there wasn't enough time or materials. They couldn't transport everyone over in boats; there were no boats and they would have been sitting ducks for their enemies. There was only one way around their problem and that was through it!
Expect a Miracle
Have you ever sized up your problem and thought about how big it was? Maybe you looked at it and concluded, "There is no way around, through, over or past this problem." I suppose we have all been like the 10 spies that returned from spying out the land of Canaan with Caleb and Joshua. We have sized up our problem and think that it is more than we can ever face, Numbers 13:31-33. Our problem was the same one we often have when we face a difficult situation: we forget about God! Where we see only problems, God sees only solutions. Where we look at things and say, "There's no way!" God looks at the problem and says, "Follow me, I have a plan!"
Obedience Activates God’s Provision
The plan was this, God said, "When the feet of the priests enter Jordan, I am going to part the waters and lead you through on the dry ground!" There was a catch in this plan and it was that the waters would not part until the priests who were carrying the Ark stepped into the water. In other words, it took a step of faith, whereby the people obediently followed the Lord for them to see the miracle come to pass.
What a lesson for you and me. Too often, we want the Lord just to fix everything in our lives for us. We don't want to have to make any decisions nor do we want to have to exercise our faith in Him. We just want Him to do it and that will be the end of it. However, most of the time, God will require us to take steps of faith in order that we might see our Jordan parted. God had a plan, but for this plan to work, it required faith on the part of His people!
The same is true for you and me! As long as we are trying to solve our own problems we are not walking in faith. It is when we turn loose of the reigns of the problem, step away from it and let the Lord have it that we will see it taken care of for His glory. It never is about what we can do, it is always about what the Lord is able to do. When the priests stepped into that raging river, it parted and God opened a path of dry ground through the waters for His people. Their obedience activated God’s provision.
We need to remember that faith honors God and God honors faith! When He does it, it won't just be patched up and ready to fall apart again, it will be done right and it will be done forever. This God who did this great thing for Israel is still the same God we are serving! What He did then, He can do now. He was ABLE all the way through the Bible, and He is still ABLE today! Regardless of the circumstances, He is still God and He still can!
Just look back over your own life. How many times has the Lord opened your Jordan already? He is all we need! He is still the same miracle working God that He always had been. Learn to expect miracles when you are dealing with God!
Scripture to Claim

You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples… Psalms 77:14

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to Get Past Your Jordan (Part 2)

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2

We each have “Jordans” that we face from time to time!  I don't know specifically what kind of obstacles you are facing in your life, but I do know a God who specializes in overcoming the overwhelming and in leading His children to victory. We can recognize from this experience some steps that we can take get past that obstacle that blocks our way and enter our Canaan. Yesterday we learned that we have to listen to God.  Today we will continue on with our journey with the second and point – to commit fully to God’s plan and to trust God to work things out. 
Commit Fully to God’s Plan - the people were told to "sanctify yourselves."
This referred to being sure they were as clean and holy as possible. They were to put away anything that was displeasing to the Lord. They were to examine themselves and get ready for the Lord to do something great for them.
If we ever expect to get past the Jordans that arise in our lives, we are going to have to examine our lives to make sure they are as clean as possible. Many of the things that happen in our lives that prevent us from walking in Christian victory are the results of our sin and the Lord's chastisement. Is everything in your life just as the Lord would have it to be? Remember, there is forgiveness in confessing our sins to the Lord - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Trust God to Work Things Out
This message to the Israelites reminded them that getting across the Jordan did not rest on their shoulders, but on the Lord's. It was His plan to get them over and it was His problem. In these verses, He makes them a promise and tells them that He will bring them through in a powerful fashion. God, here, commits Himself to bringing his people across their Jordan! All that was required of Israel was that they trust God!
May I remind you that things have not changed one bit? If God could be trusted in those days to keep His promises, then He can still be trusted today! Often, we are unable to get past the obstacles in our lives because we live a life that exhibits a lack of faith in the promises of God! How do I know? Because of the worry and doubt that marks the lives of the people of God.
·      We worry over tomorrow, yet the Lord has promised. - Matt. 6:34.
·      We worry over material things, yet the Lord has promised. - Matt. 6:25-33; Phil. 4:19.
·      We worry about facing various things in life, yet the Lord has promised. - Heb. 13:5
·      We worry over so many things, yet the Lord tells us that all of our worry is sin and that our duty is to trust Him. - Phil. 4:6-7.
The bottom line is this: Jesus is all-powerful, He is all-knowing and He is all-present. He knows what you are going through. He knows everything there is to know about it. He even knows more about it than you do! Here is what He says to you: "The just shall live by faith" Rom. 1:17; "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin"  Rom 14:23; "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith"  Matt. 8:26.
What He says to us is that He is the Lord and that He is greater than any problem we have ever or will ever face in life. His desire is that we simply learn to take Him at His Word and trust Him. We need to remember that what the Lord has promised to do, He will do! That is the message so let us take it to heart!
Scripture to Claim:

…and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 
Romans 4:21

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