JOSHUA 3:-4: “So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; 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. 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
OBSERVATION: Do you need direction in your life? Does the future seem uncertain? Is change right around the corner? We all will find ourselves somewhere in these questions. There is one thing that is certain in life, and that is change! Nothing stays constant, nothing remains the same. We all need guidance in life. The question is – where will we get it?
There are as many sources of guidance available to us today as there are questions. We can go to the bookstore and find a myriad of books that address the issues we are facing. We can talk to friends and colleagues to obtain direction. And don’t forget the internet. With a couple clicks of the keyboard, we can Google any topic and find a plethora of information. But is this the guidance that we need? Albeit, it may be helpful, but isn’t there something more reliable?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! While it is important to study, to seek wise counsel, and to research the issues of life, there is only one who can truly guide us when we need direction, when things seem uncertain, and when change is right around the corner. This person is the Holy Spirit! We are given such a wonderful picture of walking “after” the Holy Spirit in this account of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. The ark represents the presence of God. We now have this presence in ours hearts through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And the instruction to Israel is as practical to us today, as it was to them as they faced the unknown.
- “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.”
The Ark was to go before them, just as the Holy Spirit goes before us. And they were to keep a distance between them and the Ark, so – “…you may know the way by which you must go…”. The Jordan river, and the land of promise, were unknowns to the Israelites. They had God’s promises, but they did not know what to do next. Yet, they were given the wonderful promise of God’s presence guiding them every step of the way. And when the Ark touched the waters of the Jordan, the waters were parted, the ground was dried up, and they walked safely through the pathway God gave them.
There are three very important principles to glean from this account.
- The first is learning how to wait.
- The second is learning to obey.
- And the third is refusing to move ahead through presumption, ignoring God’s sovereignty and timing.
If I am truly honest, the third is where I trip up the most in my life. I want to do the will of God. I want to know what the next steps are for my life. So, I give God a little help by running ahead of Him and showing Him where the Ark should be positioned. The problem – I usually get stuck in the mud, or begin to sink in the tide! I need to learn to wait upon the Lord, resist the temptation to rush ahead, and when He opens the door, obediently walk through it! Paul put it this way in the book of Romans.
- “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to (after) the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to (after) the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4 NKJV
Lord, I want to walk “after” Your Spirit today! I know that if I run ahead of You, I will always mess things up. I also know that if I learn to wait upon You and listen to the still small voice of Your Spirit, I will be able to walk in the victory You have already provided me through Jesus Christ! Lord, I need YOUR direction in my life!
Give me a heart to hear, faith to wait, and grace to obey – when I hear You say – “This is the way, walk in it!”
In Jesus Name!