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June 12, 2022 3:00 pm
Sure I'm following crying jobs that you might know know is present and is now welcome to living in the light with Bible teacher and grandma and today's message from Joshua chapter 3 and encouraging each of us to make it a deliberate act of our will and our intentional choice to follow the living God to just do it. Here's an several years ago on TV.
There was bad that's become a classic. It was for Nike shoes was when they showed Michael Jordan basket and he jams the ball down to the basket and the screen went black in three words appear just and where there comes a time to stop talking about what you can do as a basketball and stop practicing and stop bragging and stop thinking about it. Stop reading the place and just do let me there comes a time to stop thinking about crossing the Jordan and experiencing everything God has for you, and stop planning for it is not going about it and stop reading about praying about and stop discussing it and just do the wilderness and cross over the Jordan enter into everything you open your Bibles to Joshua chapter 3 were going to look at the Israelites doing just that in the world is a long going to move out of the wilderness going to cross over the Jordan are going to enter into everything that God has for them. And in chapter 3 verse when I see them moving out of the wilderness eagerly because it says in verse one early in the morning, Joshua and all the Israelites from Sugarman. They went to the Jordan where the camp before crossing over, and the fact that they got up early in the morning. Just let me know that works better in the wellness on their lives and now they're getting ready to experience everything got hassled and they can hardly they crossed deliberately.
It wasn't like you in history when Oklahoma sooners went not mad land rationale lined up the covered wagons and then the gun went off and just took off and trying to grab land for someone else to grab it and and this is not like that. This was a deliberate moving out and crossing over. And when you experience everything God has for us is not an emotional rush.
It's a deliberate act of our will and when choosing to do this now. There may be some emotions associated with that. But our decision to cross is not based on our motion. It's a deliberate act of our will and you can see this in verse two.
After three days. Offices went throughout the Giving orders to the people. When you see the Ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priest went to the Levites, caring you to move out.
In other words, you keep your focus on the ark. In fact the ark is mentioned 13 times in this chapter is the focus really of the chapter in the ark of the covenant was a gold box or box overlaid in gold on the top or two cherubim are angels facing each other with their wings outspread the lid on the ark was called the mercy seat because the sacrifices were made for sin. The priest would sprinkle the blood of the lamb on that mercy seat and that's where God was said to meet man and inside of the ark of the covenant.
There were three things there was errands.
Robin invited which reminded the people of God's power was a jar of manna, which reminded people of God's provision and there were the tablets of the law, which reminded people of God's precepts in his law that never changes but really it was the symbol of God's presence in their midst. God is a spirit, nobody can see God and live in the ark of the covenant was the visible manifestation of his presence in their mats so the people are told when they're getting ready to move out of the wilderness to keep their focus on the ark. Keep your focus on Christ. You know, it would be easy. I would think a look at the Jordan River page my swelling in the flood waters carrying all the debris and the stuff is dangerous and then they can look across the dangerous blood engorged River and Jericho sitting up there on the hill, a huge enemy fortress and keep the focus on the fortress to keep their focus on the flood River work. Keep the focus may be on a family member somebody else wasn't too excited or don't keep your focus on anything other than the ark.
Keep your focus on the Lord when you're getting ready to move out and not only keep your focus on the Lord that you follow the Lord because it says the last of verse three when you see the ark of the coming of the Lord your God caring at your to move out from your positions and follow it and you follow the Lord. And the reason were crossing the reason for moving out of the wilderness and crossing over the Jordan into the promised land.
That's where the Lord is going and if you are, you got to cross over and it says in verse four that you keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark and don't go near it and I wondered, was that of Rev. R respect and I thought you know there about 2 1/2 million Israelites getting ready to cross and they asked that they not follow.
They leave a length of about the length of three football fields in Livermore. The netting between ark in the first person so that everybody could focus on the ark.
If you got too close to it.
You can keep or hinder somebody's view of it was in the back is a really what he's saying is Azure following the ark don't hinder anybody else from keeping their focus on and we follow Christ, you need to be careful that we don't hinder somebody else from following Christ we can cross the self-righteous attitude or judgmental attitude or critical spirit or no, something that would keep somebody else and wanting to follow. They are so where to focus on the ark and were to follow the ark, but in such a way that we remember that there are other people who are following all so we don't want to hinder somebody else's view and they solid so they moved out. Sincerely, in verse five, Joshua told the people to consecrate yourself and consecration is just setting yourself aside for God's purpose and just getting along with God, nothing, examining their hearts and their motives, their attention because although there were 2 1/2 million people were going to go this was still an individual choice and we can talk about moving out of the wellness and crossing over the Jordan. You can talk about amongst yourselves and at lunchtime at suppertime and the message is that wings or get caught up in the flow of listen to me if you're going to crossover has to be seen early in your heart and you make the individual choices is your personal individual choice before God and you examine your heart and you examine your motives, you examine your desire, each one consecrated themselves as they moved out.
Sincerely and I believe they moved out expectantly in verse five. The last part of it. He says consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing and it was and expect things that they were going to experience the phones of God blessing. They're going to experience a phones of his promise. He promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, and they were going to crossover and experience and begin your experience everything God had been promising them they were expecting that God would fulfill his promise that it was going to be good and amazing thing that God would do for them. Of course are going to come to the Jordan River at flood stage and it was going to roll back and so they are going to experience. Also, not only God's promise. But God's power to move it back. In fact that's what Joshua says and verse nine he says come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. This is how you will know that the living God is a money and that he will certainly job out before your enemies, and any talks about the Jordan River rolling back tomorrow. Not only they have an expectancy that God was going to fulfill his promise and carrying them over, but they were going to feel his power in a way they never had before. There were going to begin to walk in power and victory in their walk of faith. And they were going to experience his presence again and again verse six verse eight verse 1113 times the ark of the covenant is going before you, the ark of the company is going with you they were going to experience God's presence less than they are going to experience God's promise and his presence and his power. They were just going to experience God in a fresh new way and you had a fresh experience of living.
I was doing a study of the life of Abraham and I knew that Abraham knew God in such a personal way that God told Abraham his hand now if I told you on you the queen of England you source Mark what is the queen of England walked in here and said and locked. As my friend, you'd be impressed. And God called Abraham his friend that's impressive and I decided I wanted to know God like that.
I wanted to know God like Abraham did. And I thought you know if I don't is not that something is wrong with God. Is that something's wrong with me because God hasn't changed is the same yesterday today and forever, and Abraham knew him yesterday walking on the one today and I set out on a pilgrimage to know interpersonal living real friendship and I can't say I know him as well as I want to well is I should but I know I'm better today than I did years ago and there is a swirl to the venture of following cries just that you might know know his presence and his power and fulfillment of his promise in your life. That's one reason I keep going in this itinerant ministry and traveling around and doing what I do when I'm dog tired I just as soon stay home because of the adventure of my comfort zone.
Climbing out 11 just discovering how big God is and how strong God is and how faithful God is now true God is now right. God is the joy of my life to experience God as they were moving out of the wilderness, expecting to experience God in a fresh new way and they moved out actively there came a time they just had to do it and they had to stop longing for the promised land. Stop looking over the Jordan to the promised land is not thinking about the promised land.
Stop expecting the liberating and consecrating and just do it. And there comes a time when you just got to act on what God is already revealed to you and make the decision and just do and it was active determination.
Verse 14 they had to break the last day in the wilderness folding up their tents packing winter pots and pans yet another animals dressing their children today. They broke out was active determination was a decision they made. And I challenge you today break, you have to change your schedule. You have to get up earlier. You may have to set a relationship right you have to sort out some things in your life. I'll know what it means to break camp but you do it is active determination. You just decide to do it was an act of devotion. Verse 14 the priests carrying the Ark of the covenant when I have them remember they were keeping her focus on the ark and they were following the are it was an act of devotion. The reason they were crossing the Jordan. They wanted to follow in God bring with them in the wilderness.
But now he was saying he was no longer going to be with them in the wilderness he was crossing the Jordan if they want to be with him. They had to cross the Jordan God is with you in the wilderness. I'm sure because he is a faithful God, but I believe he would tell you is crossing the Jordan and if you want to be with him in fullness and power and joy and peace. You need to break camp and you need to follow him across the Jordan is an act of devotion Egypt and look attractive from the wilderness is thinking of the Israelites. They are to member when they were complaining and they said we just want your take us back to leachable up the garlic and the links of Egypt and although God's presence have been in their midst and they can signify my in the cloud by day and he gave them water for Moroccan issues never were on the close never wore out all that somehow the wilderness going around in circles constantly being seated constantly discouraged, constantly struggling going nowhere really having no goal, not just going round and round it makes the world look attractive. Doesn't that's why a lot of Christians have a hard time separating from the world you still getting the pleasure from the world their satisfaction from the world and all their worldly pursuits and their adopted worldly attitudes and values. Because when you Egypt looks good now tell you something is not anybody in the promised land he wants to go back to Egypt and the Lord can be with you in the wilderness, and you can be saved and wasting our Christian lives.
Longing for Egypt, for the Lord is think that's enough without enough complacent apathy and mediocrity. Same old same old. Were going to cross you coming.
It was an act of devotion they wanted to know God, not just about they wanted to experience God, not just everything he had from they want experience him and so there was an expectancy that was active determination act of devotion active during verse 15 the Jordan was at flood stage all during harvest it as soon as the priest to carry the ark reached the Jordan their feet touch the war that you had to get their feet wet and I wonder I can just see them carrying the ark of the covenant leaving all of these people and they get 10 feet from the water. Nothing happens in 5 feet from the water. Nothing happens in one set from the water. Nothing happens and then they put their feet in the water and nothing happens. They looked at each other and thought we making a fool of ourselves is a risk involved is to come to cross the Jordan, you come to surrender everything the Lord you going to change your lifestyle change your goals change your priorities change the sources of your satisfaction is how we what if the waters the rollback. What I don't have a sense of God's presence. There is power.
What he doesn't keep his promise to give me an experience of everything he has for me.
If I'm giving my marriage. I may have to stay in if I give you my children.
They may live a life different than the one I really plan if I give you my time, he may take it call me in the service by giving my ministry he may prune it back or maybe I'll expand and scare me to death. You know when it comes to crossing the Jordan. Sometimes you just have to get your feet wet. It's called a step of faith and just say you're going to move out of the wilderness to just sick and tired of being sick and tired sick and tired of defeat and discouragement and going nowhere with God you going to cross. I want to give you a visual of only done this one other visual one other time in my life. This is the second time I started doing it when we did Joshua and it seems to help, but I wanted to share with you.
This is crossing the Jordan is just just the two simple lines and at the bottom of the cross is salvation and this is where you receive Christ as your Savior and the crawlspace horizontal line of the cross is the Jordan River and at the top of the cross is the promised land.
That's we experience everything God has made us the fullness of God's blessing and many times when somebody is saved and they receive Jesus Christ as Savior. They started the foot of the cross and they travel along the cross and they're going to Bible studies. The going to church this starting to pray they have Christian friends are beginning to live the Christian life the beginning to experience something of what God has for them. Then they come to the Jordan River where they would cross over and very often it's a crisis that brings us to this point or decision that were confronted with many come to the Jordan River and rather than cross and surrender that situation to the Lord, you can just have the rest of my life. I want to use it for your glory. Help me to have your peace and your joy and reach out to others were hurting like this and maybe some other kind of decision you have to make a decision about your business and you could really get a tremendous advantage if you would just compromise your integrity and that's a decision that can be just something that God would give you that we determine whether you're going to cross. I received a call from her son and he said mom I have cancer and drive the blue young you talk about something that just enjoying orbit to know and I had the choice.
I knew I had come to the Jordan and I had a choice and I can say God you know I've been trying to serve you.
Try to be a good Christian wife in a Christian moment try to raise natural in the love you and you let this happen to my son, just on a U-turn and just gone back on and so do this anymore.
You can't be good to me when I try to be good for you anymore.
Or maybe I would've done that maybe I would like this businessperson starts out the bottom of the cross there saved they start reading their Bibles going to church going to Bible study.
They come to the Jordan River like this and rather than cross. They just live along the riverbank and it's hard for a person sitting next to them to know that they're not even cross and I could've come to the Jordan and just lived along the riverbank. I would've kept up a smile continued speaking and I would've continued sharing the Scriptures and you would never know in my heart that I was angry towards God that I have harbored a rebellious spirit that I was offended that he let that happen to me as I could fake the black you would think I was over here when really I was just living along riverbank a lot of people who live along the riverbank. You can teach Sunday school pray out loud your Christian mama Christian that Christian leader may be on the board of deacons in your church know by now that in your heart you are harboring some rebellion against God or some area of your life. You refuse to surrender to him some secret habit of sin some attitude maybe is unforgiving heart toward somebody who was abusive to you when you were younger on injustice that you've experienced in your adult age or something is happened to your children. Maybe it's a bitterness toward somebody in your family. Maybe it's just a habit, something that you just won't let go. God says if you want to come over here and experience everything I have to you have to go through the Jordan River really what this is is just experiencing the cross at a deeper level as is what we call the crucified life and you take the cross and your life for salvation, but then you live it out in your surrender to Jesus Christ and you just given everything the Israelites were moving out of the wilderness and they were going to cross over the Jordan River, and just experience everything God had for them in my challenge to you, would you move that you might cross over the Jordan, whenever it is given to the Lord, surrender it, you'll never experience everything God has for you never get to the promised land. If you don't cross the Jordan is of the Israelites crossed over the freeze stood quietly in the river getting their feet wet taking that step buffet on how long it was maybe just a moment or two Mavis Bob is 10 minutes long enough for everybody to see that the priest was standing there with her feet wet and then the Jordan River at flood stage parted in the ward to the solstice drained off in front of the plane and the ward to the right is built up in a great big heat and a set of there being a mighty river bottom. There was dry ground in the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground. Let me tell you something easy to cross the Jordan.
The hard part was making the decision they had struggled with the decision authority you been struggling with the decision to select your life to cry Christian life. Everything you gave your life and that means that I want you to give me that habit and I want you to give me that relationship, you to give me that you and you and lastly in the struggle will just where you like Jacob and the jabber gripper wrestling with the angel of the Lord, refusing to yield his life trying to cross over without yielding everything to God.
God finally reached down and just broken don't take at that point not to break his people.
I love Jacob even after he was broken is arms around God's neck and nieces.I will let you go to. I want everything that you have. And boy did God give it to Jake. Everything the fullness of his blessing. Maybe somebody here is already wrestled to the point of broken some of us are stubborn enough like Jacob just takes God breaking us in some way when you're broken, you just yield to the Lord put your arms around his neck and say God I just won't let you go until you bless I want to cross over that I might be plans may crossed over and it was these is a relief that comes when you stop wrestling you just make the decision to do it now hears and with this final word.
It's time you left the wilderness stop wandering going nowhere in your relationship with God wandering his emptiness, awareness, and can lead to spiritual despondency, apathy, and in the end I wasted Christian life.
It can open you up for temptation to look for something more exciting, more fulfilling, more satisfying and worldly, selfish pursuits, because deep down you're looking for blessing satisfaction, meaning fulfillment, but you can't get those things through wilderness wandering when you wander, you're missing the fullness of the blessing God wants to give you some right now as you're listening to my voice stop wrestling with God give and to him. Let go of your own pursuits your own will that is resisting total surrender to his will step into the Jordan leave behind your own wants goals, ambitions, dreams, what God has for you is so much more than you could ever think to get for yourself, just as Joshua and the children of Israel embrace everything God has for you. Just living in the light is a weekly study in God's word with teacher and author and Graham wants learn to listen to his voice, then start making the choice to keep on going and believing and trusting who God is go to and Graham watch Stockport take advantage of the many helpful free resources to get you started doing this again for living in the light