“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” (Psalms 34:5 NKJV).
After the death of Moses the first great challenge before Joshua and the children of Israel was crossing over the swollen Jordan River into their inheritance. It was the first test of the leadership of Joshua, the successor of Moses.
The generation that crossed the Red Sea had all perished in the wilderness, save Joshua and Caleb. The rod of Moses that was instrumental in parting the Red Sea had also gone with Moses.
How then would Joshua lead the children of Israel to cross over the swollen Jordan?
God has undoubtedly prepared Joshua well ahead of the challenges, tests or trials he would face. Not even the swollen Jordan River could dissuade, deter or discourage Joshua and the new generation from entering into their Promised Land.
God always seeks to prepare his children well ahead of every challenge, test or trial they will face in life, so that nothing will stop them from fulfilling their purposes in life.
The Scripture reveals this truth in 1 Corinthians 10:
13 You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it. (BBE).
How did Joshua and his generation cross over the swollen Jordan River into their inheritance?
It is wisdom to learn from them!
First, Joshua sent two spies to view the Promised Land (Josh. 2:1).
Obviously, Joshua knew that after about forty years of wandering in the wilderness the people needed something to rekindle, revive or spark off their conviction and passion for the Promised Land.
What could possibly rekindle their passion for their inheritance?
Fresh vision of the Promised Land!
Therefore, from Shittim, Joshua sent two men to go beyond the Jordan River to view the Promised Land. Joshua knew he could not take the people further than they could see. The people can only go as far as they can see. He knew that without a clear vision of their destination, making progress in their journey will become a real burden.
When you also cease to have a clear vision of your destination in life, stagnation will set in; for there will be no passion to set or keep you in motion till you reach your destination in life.
The two spies Joshua sent beyond Jordan returned with great news, saying, “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.” (Josh. 2:24 NKJV).
This great news generated, imparted, and sparked off fresh waves of conviction, passion, hope, joy, courage and faith in the people to rise up and go beyond the swollen Jordan River into their Promised Land.
Many believers today are no longer making any significant progress in their pursuit to become more like Christ in their will, thoughts, mindsets, emotions, attitudes or character, and to appropriate and possess their inheritances in Christ simply because they have lost a clear vision or revelation of their Promised Land (Christ-likeness).
It is absolutely impossible to attain Christ-likeness in your will, thoughts, emotions, or actions without you constantly beholding the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the mirror of God’s Word.
The Scripture clearly states this truth.
2 Corinthians 3:
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (NKJV).
1 John 3:
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (NKJV).
Second, after three days of camping before the swollen Jordan River, Joshua revealed to the people of Israel God’s chosen way for them to cross over the Jordan into their inheritance.
The people were commanded to fix their eyes on the Ark of the Covenant (symbolic of God’s presence in their midst) and go after God as He leads the way through the swollen Jordan River.
1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over.
2 So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp;
3 and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
4 “Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” (NKJV).
It is imperative for the children of Israel to fix their eyes on God and follow Him as He leads them step by step through the swollen Jordan into their inheritance, so that they may know the way by which they must go (Josh. 3:4).
Similarly, it is imperative for you to fix your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of your faith, and follow Him step by step when you are confronted with seemingly overwhelming or insurmountable challenges in life.
The Scripture assures us that “The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (Nah. 1:3 NKJV).
Therefore you must focus your eyes, incline your ears, and apply your heart to seeing, hearing and understanding God’s leading through your storm, so that you may know the way by which you must go.
Many believers today are baffled, bewildered, frustrated, stranded and stuck at the threshold or gate of their destiny because they set, fix or focus their eyes and minds only on their present overwhelming challenges or circumstances rather than on the Lord Jesus and what He has accomplished for them through His finished work.
Beloved, fixing your eyes on your “swollen Jordan River” will only flood your soul with a torrent of fear, doubt, discouragement and hopelessness.
But, fixing your eyes on the Lord Jesus and the victory He has won for you and given to you will unleash upon your soul the divine understanding, wisdom, faith, courage, boldness, joy, hope and comfort that will make you cross over any swollen Jordan triumphantly into your Promised Land.
The Psalmist testifies, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” (Psa. 34:5 NKJV).
Look to the Lord Jesus today and everyday of your life!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I choose to set, fix and focus my eyes and mind only on the Lord Jesus Christ, so that I may know the way by which I must go through the storms of life to my Promised Land. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to do this, in Jesus’ name. Amen.