We entered the Promised Land with Joshua this week and finished up today with his death. There were several things that stood out to me over the last few days. Oddly enough, I am reading John Ortberg's If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat, and he has some interesting thoughts about the Jordan miracle found in Joshua 3.
Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.
The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.
Ortberg says, "The people will experience God's power--but they will have to take the first step. This not only involves a mental acknowledgement of God's power, but requires them to take a step of action based on the assumption that God is trustworthy as well. They had to get their feet wet first. "
What a powerful statement. Do I trust God, Author of the Universe, enough to take the first step toward whatever work He has for me?
And do you wonder why the entire land didn't just surrender at that moment? The Israelite's God stopped the Jordan River from flowing! At a time when the river was overflowing!
So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. Joshua 9:14-15
This spoke to me because so much of the time, I take the time to think through my actions and what the ramifications might be, but I do not take the time to ask the Lord what He thinks about it. In the Israelites case, not inquiring of the Lord caused them to not be able to do what God had asked. To remove all the current inhabitants of the Promised Land. What do I miss when I don't inquire of God? Or worse, what situations do I create when I go my own way?