- Have patience for the process: I think that a lot of times, we make breakthrough & deliverance sound so….magical. It almost seems instantaneous. One minute you’re struggling, then ‘BOOM!!!’ breakthrough puts you in a penthouse suite in the middle of paradise. While I’m sure some have “crossed over” quicker than others, and somebody out there has had an instant breakthrough, I know it doesn’t always work that way. When God got ready to help the children of Israel cross the Jordan river, He gave them really detailed instructions. Lead with the ark of the covenant. Stand about a half a mile away. Sanctify yourself, etc. He didn’t just say “your time has come! Now walk on through the Jordan river & get your increase, child,” and the same is true for us. While it may be your time to cross over, realize that there are some steps required to get to the other side. For example…
- Follow the leader (new spaces, new places): In Joshua 3:4, God explains that He had the children of Israel follow the ark of the covenant (and stand about half a mile away from it) because “[they’ve] never passed this way before.” They, like us, needed to follow something and/or somebody in order to get to their victory and their next level. Please recognize that God can and will use other people to lead you out of various struggles. This is why it can hurt you to shut out the world, or not be willing to trust anybody. How many times have you turned down a breakthrough because it didn’t come in your perfect package? No prayer, no nothing…you just decided that it wasn’t God….and missed your opportunity to go to the next level. Your freedom is in your ability to follow. So many people today want to be leaders, but…suga…..you can’t lead anybody to a place you’ve never been to. That’s why God led the children of Israel (through the ark, which represents His presence). They had to follow somebody out, and He may have you follow somebody out of your pit as well, but you’ll never get out if you refuse to take any help.
- Be prepared. In the very next verse (Josh. 3:5), the children of Israel are told to sanctify themselves, because God is going to do something amazing the next day. They had to prepare themselves, and I think that as we cross over into new spaces and new places, we need to prepare ourselves as well. You want more money, read financial literacy books, open a savings, etc. You want more joy? You want new relationships & opportunities? Why? What are you actually going to do with this increase you keep asking God for? Have you set up a life that can handle it? I think we’ve gotten really good at asking God for more, but we can struggle in handling the abundant life we fasted, prayed, and wept for. If you don’t prepare for the blessing you’re asking for, it can and probably will overtake you in the worst of ways. If you want more, prepare for more. Later, in Josh. 4:10, it says that when the time came, the children of Israel hurried across the Jordan. Suga, when He finally reveals that way out, that breakthrough, that healing, etc…..move. You’ve spent enough time in bondage. This is no time to take long strolls into victory. MOVE. Stop procrastinating in the pit, and make some plans. Be as prepared as you possibly can to get out of your pit & handle the next dimension He has for you.
- Step: Something that I thought was ridiculously cool was the fact that the Jordan moved out of the children of Israel’s way the second the priests’ (those who were leading them holding the ark) feet touched the water. However, because I’m in law school, I question everything…and I change the facts to see if I get a different result. So, what if they had been too scared to put their feet in the Jordan river? What if they said “you knoooowww….the Jordan is a little ummm…full around this time of year. So for the safety of the ark and the congregation, we’re going to wait for God to move the water back, and THEN we’ll step on out there..”? I’ll tell you what would’ve happened: nothing. They probably would’ve wandered on for a few decades. The lesson is simple: when God tells you to move, you have to move. So many times, we wait on God as if He’s not waiting on us. He gave them a word, and that was all that they needed to move into what He’d set aside for them. The power to push back the waters of the Jordan didn’t reside in their feet; it resided in God’s word. That may be why God had them carry the ark ahead of everybody else: it shows us that if His word comes first, and is paired with your action, you will walk through things that could’ve drowned you.
- When it’s your time…: (Church people would say “when your season comes”, or “in due season”) When it’s time for you to come out, God will shift whatever and whoever is necessary in order to bring you out. When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan river, it was overflowing, as it always did around that time of year. Yet, they crossed on dry land. Not muddy land, not low levels of water, dry….land. Let me try and make this plain: God didn’t just allow them to walk through something that could’ve drowned them; He completely cleared the path to give them safe travels to the other side. Don’t tell me He can’t make a way for you! It’s not a question of if you’ll come out, it’s how He’ll work it when you come out.
- Take Souvenirs: God told Joshua to have one person from each tribe grab a rock while they were crossing through the Jordan river. These rocks were used to make something similar to a memorial, so when later generations asked ‘why on earth are these rocks here?’, people would tell them about how God brought them through the Jordan and into victory. I think it’s always good to have some kind of ‘souvenir’ of the struggle. I call mine my blessing bowl. That way, I always have something to go back to that reminds me that if God brought me through that, He can and will surely bring me through this. Let’s be honest, we’re aging humans. Aging humans forget things, and if we’re not careful, we’ll forget what God has done, and lose faith in what He can do. This is why you must always take a souvenir. Write it down, take a picture, dedicate a song, do something that helps you to always remember that you’re not just a survivor or a string of experiences; you’re an overcomer through Christ. If you can remember what He’s done, it’s harder to forget that there’s nothing He can’t do.
- It’s not going anywhere: I love the fact that God held the waters of the Jordan river up until all the priests’ feet returned to land after all of the children of Israel crossed over. Why? It shows me that He always maintains the victory that He gives us. If He started it, He will definitely finish it, and keep you from falling back into old patterns if you allow Him to. So, as I close, when you cross over your own Jordan river, don’t allow fear to overtake you in the middle of the process or once you get to the other side. He’s more than able to sustain you in your new place. He’s more than able to keep the new things from overtaking you. He’s got you. Your victory, your peace,your healing, etc. isn’t going anywhere. So grab a souvenir on your way through, and never stop telling the world the lessons that you learned while crossing over.
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