I was eight years old and very surprised that my parents were telling me I would be staying up past my bedtime, but even more surprising is why miss bedtime. The reason was to watch TV. I remember what I saw on TV that night. It was July 20, 1969 and I was watching live Neil Armstrong to become the first man to walk on the moon.
The first step on the moon! My mom said that she thought Neil Armstrong might disappear into deep dust on moon’s surface. The astronauts commented on the dust on the surface, but it was not deep like some suspected. Who knew what would happen. No one had ever been this way before. It was famously put, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” It must have been scary to take that step
In Joshua Chapter 3 we read about another time a man took a small step and did something great for mankind. It was when the priest put his foot in the Jordan at flood stage and the children if Israel crossed into the promise land on dry ground.
We find The Children of Israel on the edge of the promise land. They had been wandering in the wilderness the past forty years. But to possess the Promised Land they must cross the Jordon River at flood stage. Everything was about to change with this step of faith.
They were about to march across the River at flood stage. Without a miracle of God this could never happen. Yet, God said cross. Just think of the priest who took the first step into the flooded Jordan River. When he went to the edge of the river and took that step the river stopped and the ground was dry.
Stepping into the Jordan River was a small step for a man giant step for mankind. It was giant because it was part of God’s plan for salvation. God’s people entered the Promised Land and possess the land where messiah would be born, live a sinless life and die on a cross to purchase men with his blood.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself figuratively standing at the river at flood stage. Over and over again God calls his people to a step of faith. A step that would be impossible without a miracle of God.
Taking that step keeps us from wandering in a spiritual wilderness to a experiencing the abundant life. Once the children of Israel cross this river they can never again be satisfied with what they left behind wondering in the wilderness.
I recall an elderly lady crying. She was experiencing a very close relationship with God that she had not experienced through a life of regular church attendance and consistent service. She wept because as she looked back she could see what she missed if she would have had this kind of close relationship with the Lord for all those years.
Israel had been here before and didn’t cross. They had never been this way crossing over the river. Even at this time Ruben Gad and the half tribe on Manasseh wanted the old way in wilderness see numbers 32. How spiritually myopic that we would rather stay in a more steady spiritual desert rather than step out in faith and dwell in the promises of God.
This time the Israelites came to the edge of the Jordan River in faith. In our lives we are going to come up against the impossible. It is going to require us to take a step of faith to cross the river at flood stage. What is impossible with man is possible with God. It requires faith and we must depend on the Lord.
We need to be ready for the Lord to do amazing things. Joshua called Israel to a spiritual preparation for what this kind of step of faith requires. Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5
If you are going to take the step of faith you must be spiritually prepared. We must walk with the Lord to pass ways that we have not passed before. When there is a river at flood stage in our life we can proceed with boldness if we trust the Lord.
We get spiritually prepared but there is also a time we just step in the water. We put everything on the line and trust God. Read Hebrews Chapter 11. It is by faith. This is what the ancients were commended for.
The priest stepped in the water carrying the Ark of the Covenant a symbol of God’s presence. If you are standing at the Jordan River at flood stage and you have the impossible before you, trust God. Will you take that step? The Promised Land for you is on the other side of that step of faith.