"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3:20
Intro: Have you ever had a problem getting past an obstacle that is in your way? I believe we all have. Something is in the way: The Israelites were struggling with that.
When the Lord brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt, He led them toward the Promised Land. It took them two years to make that trip. During that time, the Lord gave them His Law and taught them how to worship Him. When they arrived at Jordan, all they had to do was enter the land and lay claim to what they had been given.
Instead of going forward in faith, the people of Israel refused to claim their inheritance in Canaan. They wanted to turn around and go back to Egypt, back to the very people who had enslaved them. God punished them severely for their lack of faith. He condemned them to wander around in the wilderness between Canaan and Egypt until the whole generation of those who refused to enter the Promised Land died off. Because of their unbelief, Israel was sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
The past is now behind them but there is one final obstacle that lays in front of them the Jordan River. Normally it is only 100 feet wide; God brought them to the Jordan River at the time of harvest. The river during harvest time was 50 times wider swelling to a mile in width. No way could they cross the river on their own! Only God could do this and it would be evident they would all know it was God who can. Sounds like an application here: “Every person here faces his or her own Jordan from time to time!” We deal with obstacles that would hinder us from obtaining spiritual victory in our lives. We may feel that we will never be able to enter our Canaan of victory and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promised His followers.
The strategies that worked for Israel over 3000 years ago will still work for us today. Getting Past Your Jordan, may this be a memorial for you!
Application: Getting Past Your Jordan requires Jesus.
1. There Is a Message to Consider:
The Message Involved a Challenge: The Ark represented the presence of God! And He was on the move! When He is on the move, we are to follow. We are to watch Him, and follow. Sooner or later you might have to leave your place and go after Him. It might mean you need to get out of your comfort zone. Israel was about to follow the Ark through a river that was over 1 mile wide! If you ever expect to get past your obstacles and enter your Canaan, you must learn to follow God. The message also demands reverence to God.
The Message Involved a Command: "Sanctify yourselves” If you and I ever expect to get past the Jordan's that arise in our lives, we are going to have to learn that one of the first things we must do is examine our lives to make sure they are as clean as possible. Is there a sin we are tripping over? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The message and obstacle could just be God say sanctify yourself I am God!
The Message Involved a Commitment: Listen! Christian if you commit to Christ, He will help you cross your Jordan. All you got to do is trust! How quick we are to forget what He has already done, He set us free from bondage and He can lift us over our Jordan. There is a need of commitment, faith and forget the worry: We worry over tomorrow, yet the Lord has said: “Do not worry about tomorrow.” We worry over material things, yet the Lord has promised: “He will supply all our needs.”
We worry over so many things, yet the Lord tells us that all of our worry is sin and that our duty is to trust Him: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. Let your requests be made know to God, and God’s peace will quard your heart.” The bottom line is this: Jesus is all-powerful, He is all-knowing and He is all-present. He knows what you are going through. He knows everything there is to know about it. All this reminds us that He is the Lord and that He is greater than any problem we have ever or will ever face in life. His desire is that we simply learn to take Him at His Word and trust Him. We need to remember that what the Lord has promised to do, He will do! That is the message; let us take it to heart!
2. There Is a Miracle to Consider:
There Was a Problem: The water was a little higher than usually, okay a lot Higher! 2 million people had to cross, they couldn't build a bridge; there wasn't enough time or materials. They couldn't transport everyone over in boats, there were no boats and they would have been sitting ducks for their enemies. There was only one way around their problem and that was through it! Have you ever sized up your Jordan and thought about how big it was? Maybe you looked at it and concluded, “There is no way around, through, over or past this problem.” I suppose we have all been like the 10 spies that returned from spying out the land of Canaan with Caleb and Joshua. We have sized up our problem and think that it is more than we can ever face. Our problem was the same one we always have when we face a difficult situation: we forget about God! Where we see only problems, God sees only solutions. Where we look at things and say, “There's no way!” God looks at the problem and says, "Follow me, I have a plan!"
There Was a Plan: The plan was this, God said, “When the feet of the priests enter Jordan, I am going to part the waters and lead you through on the dry ground!” There was a catch in this plan and it was that the waters would not part until the priests who were carrying the Ark stepped into the water. In other words, it took a step of faith, whereby the people obediently followed the Lord for them to see the miracle come to pass.
What a lesson for you and me. Too often, we want the Lord just to fix everything in our lives for us. We don't want to have to make any decisions nor do we want to have to exercise our faith in Him. We just want Him to do it and that will be the end of it. However, most of the time, God will require us to take steps of faith in order that we might see our Jordan parted. God had a plan, but for this plan to work, it required faith on the part of His people! The same is true for you and me! As long as we are trying to solve our own problems we are not walking in faith. It is when we turn loose of the reigns of the problem, step away from it and let the Lord have it that we will see it taken care of for His glory. It never is about what we can do, it is always about what the Lord is able to do: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
There Was a Performance: When the priests stepped into that raging river, it parted and God opened a path of dry ground through the waters for His people. The waters had backed up some 20 miles north of where the children of Israel were crossing. God made them a path through the water that was more than adequate for His people to get through. We need to remember that faith honors God and God honors faith! Our God was ABLE all the way through the Bible, and He is still ABLE today! Regardless of the circumstances, He is still God and He still can! How many times has the Lord opened your Jordan already? He is all we need! He is still the same miracle working God that He always had been. Learn to expect miracles when you are dealing with God! Our God specializes in cutting problems down to size.
When little David walked out into that valley to face Goliath, he faced an opponent that he could never have defeated on his own. That giant was about 10 feet tall. He went into that valley with a sling, five smooth stones, and faith in a powerful God. When David cast his stone at Goliath, the giant fell to the earth. David ran to Goliath. He drew Goliath's own sword and took off the giant's head. Now, the question that arises is this: When David took off the giant's head, was the giant still there? Of course he was! But, he is no longer 10 feet tall; he is now about 9 feet long! God had a way of taking the things we cannot get past and fixing it where we can get over them.
3. There Is a Memorial to Consider: 4:1-3 When all the people had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded one man from each of the 12 tribes to get a rock from the midst of Jordan and build a memorial on the Canaan side.
The Purpose of the Memorial: to remind following generations of the power and faithfulness of God on behalf of His people. That memorial would be an important landmark to those who would come. We want to remember the great works of our God so that when we pass that way again, we will remember that the Lord was faithful in that day and that He will be faithful in this day as well. Never forget what the Lord has done for you in your yesterdays. It is those yesterday experiences that will tide you over when the trials of today and tomorrow arise in your life!
The Picture in the Memorial: “Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.” (4:9)
A Picture Of The Faithfulness Of God, A Picture Of The Faith Of The People. What about the rock pile in the river? No one could see it but God! It stood as a monument to the faith of the people!
We need those same kinds of monuments as well. As I said, too often others misjudge us in our times of trial, but God alone knows you heart. When you have trusted Him and He has brought you through, never forget it! Build that monument in your heart, where only God can see it, and where you will never forget it. Then, when the tough times come again, and they will, look at that monument of His faithfulness and of your faith and know that what worked before will work again. God will bring you through your Jordan!
Remember when David killed Goliath? Before he went into that battle, King Saul tried to cloth David in his armor. David refused it because he had never fought in armor before, and because it was armor designed for a much larger man. Yet, when David killed the giant, he took the giant's armor into his tent. Why did he do this? It was a memorial. It was a reminder that no matter how great the obstacle, it is nothing when it is placed alongside the God of Heaven!
Conclusion: Some of you are facing troubled waters today. I want you to know you can cross over. I invite you to come before the Lord today. Tell Him about the Jordan you are facing and allow Him to get you past it today. There is a place of victory where you can shout in spite of your troubles. The first step in getting there is dealing with what is keeping you out: you’re Jordan. It may be sin, it may be some person, it may be some trial, but whatever it is, God is greater than it is. Come and let Him take care of it for you. We worry about facing various things in life, yet the Lord has promised: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
In : Sermon
Tags: "memorial day"
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