Wednesday, May 8, 2013
When He...then we..
“They commanded the people, saying, ‘When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.’” Joshua 3:3.
The Israelites had been at the edge of the River Jordan during the season when the snow from the winter was melting down into the river. This made conditions in the water rough and raging, causing the river to swell fifty feet wider than usual and much deeper. The Bible states that they were there for three days. They set up camp, sat and waited being forced to face the impossible situation of the river God commanded them to cross. Joshua instructed them to sit tight, to fix their eyes on the ark which was the presence of God. He urged them to not take one step until God’s presence moved. Taking action ahead of God would have created a drowning experience. So they sat…and waited…and faced their fear. Their questions must have included how on earth it was going to play out? What on earth was God going to require of them to get to the other side? Would they all survive or would some perish? What might be lost along the way? The message was clear… ‘WHEN He…then we.’
Our mind experiences the same fears and questions when we are faced with a set of circumstances that God has determined we walk through. We are looking over our raging rivers aware that we are going to have to walk through them. We sometimes mistake our own ideas of how to maneuver for God’s ideas. We exhaust ourselves by building boats when the miracle will provide dry land. We minimize the power of God and maximize our unbelief of what He can accomplish as we stand on our river’s edge. Knowing we are waiting on God to move we fret…we worry…we calculate…we manipulate. God’s will doesn’t change and He will do what He sets out to do, but the difference will be in the peace we experience in the wait. Our fret and worry doesn’t change the outcome but certainly changes the comfort that can be ours.
As you stand at the edge of your challenges facing the tough waters ahead, you can know with confidence that as you follow in the steps of God He is up ahead parting the waters. ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ Deut. 31:8.