JOSHUA 4:23-24: “For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Does God need my help? This may appear to be a strange question, but in reality it is the way I tend to live out my Christian life. I didn’t begin my walk of faith this way. I began my life in Christ in utter dependence upon His Grace and Mercy. I came to Him knowing that I was empty, broken, and in need of redemption. I faced a great sea that seemed unsurpassable and Jesus Christ parted this sea of sin and shame and I walked into His deliverance of forgiveness, cleansing, and eternal life. The first sea that was parted for Israel was their entrance into deliverance. The Red Sea represents my entrance into new life in Jesus Christ.
From this life of salvation I am called into a life of sanctification. This is the call to become more like Jesus Christ. It is the daily experience of overcoming the old nature, the temptations of this world, and learning how to walk after the Spirit. It is analogous to the Nation of Israel entering into the promised land to overcome the enemies of the Lord and inherit their allotted land. This process would not be automatic or immediate. It would take time and effort. And here is where I usually get off track and begin to think that God needs my help.
I think it is a very important distinction to understand that Israel’s deliverance began with a miraculous parting of the Red Sea, and now their entrance into God’s promises begin with the miraculous parting of the Jordan. The Lord told them exactly why He chose to do it this way – “…so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” It was both a testimony and a reminder of the miraculous power of God. It would only be through the mighty hand of the Lord that Israel would be able to overcome their enemies and inherit the promised land!
To forget this is common. We all do. Paul admonished the Galatian believers who were making this mistake when he said – “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3 ESV) In other words – you did not help God when you were saved, why do you think you need to help God now with your sanctification? Salvation and Sanctification are completely God’s work of Grace in our lives. We can not add anything to it. It is the outworking of the completed work of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection being realized in our hearts through faith. The only thing God needs is our obedience. God calls, He provides, and He leads – we need only to obey.
When Israel entered into the Jordan they did not help God part the waters. God had already provided this for them. Yet, they would not have realized the provision without their obedience. Obedience is not a work of the flesh, it is a response of faith, the outworking of our trust in the Lord. It does not make God do something, it enters into what the Lord has already done. Obedience does not help God – it helps us! Obedience is the tangible expression of Grace through Faith. It is both the call of God and the gift of God in our lives. We begin our walk of faith with His miraculous provision (Red Sea) and we continue our walk of faith through His miraculous provision (Jordan). There is no other way!
Lord, forgive me when I try to “help” You. May I come fully surrendered under Your mighty hand. I humble myself before You and proclaim that it is not by my power, nor by my might, but only by Your Spirit! Fulfill Your will and purpose in my life through Your miraculous provision. In Jesus Name!