Step Out In Faith
Joshua was standing on the edge of the water. It was late Spring and the Jordan River was at flood stage so the Israelites would not be able to cross the river. I’m sure Joshua had a thousand thoughts running through his mind- about 38 years’ worth. 38 years earlier the people had stood on the edge of the promised land. Joshua had told them that with God’s help they could take the land. However, the people were fearful and would not attack…and the rest was history. For 38 years they had been regretting that decision. God had given them almost four decades to ponder whether or not to believe God when He promised something. Now they got a second chance to get it right.
Moses had died and Joshua was the new leader of the Israelites. God told Joshua as He had Moses that the land was theirs to inhabit. God gave them the land, but they had to do the work of possessing it. This was a risk but one worth taking. They made their plans, said their prayers, and they were off to take the land of Canaan for themselves. But now they were standing on the water’s edge with their first impossible task. They would all drown if they tried to cross the Jordan River when it was at flood stage.
God put them to the test. “Joshua, I want to you cross the river. Trust me. I will deliver the people. You must have faith and walk in obedience.” The moment of truth had arrived. Last time they failed the test and spent 38 years paying the price, but in front of them was a raging river waiting to take their lives if they tried to cross. Joshua stood up. It was time to lead. He instructed the priests to lead the people into the water. He asked the people to have faith in the promises of God because they never failed. And they walked… one foot in front of the other… nothing to protect them but their faith in the power and promises of their God.
And God did the most amazing thing. When the feet of the priests went into the water, God parted the waters of the Jordan River and the Israelites crossed the river on dry ground. God let His people know that when they trust in the Lord their God, He will deliver them every time. God gave them the land by promise, but they had to trust God enough to go claim the land for themselves.
God has given us the land today. The land is called eternal life or abundant life. This life is granted us through the blood of Jesus on the cross. God has bought this life for us, but we must take it. We must take the step of faith to receive the abundant life. Of course there is the original step of faith in which we receive salvation through accepting the gift of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. However, we continue to walk by faith daily once we are in Christ.
We access the power of God through stepping out in faith and putting our feet in the water. God’s power is available to everyone, but it is only accessed by those who step out in faith. I witness many good hearted believers who never walk in the power of God because they never take the first step. They stand on the edge of the river playing chicken with God. “God I’ll step in the river if you show me a sign.” “If you will deliver me first then I’ll jump in the river for you God.” They wait and wander and watch; but they never walk. The power comes in the risk. The risk with faith is that God might not come through, but I believe He will so I will take the first step in faith. Those are the men and women of faith who see the power of God displayed in their lives.
So evaluate your faith. Are you a risk taker for God or do you play your faith close to your vest? When challenges or opportunities present themselves, do you stand on the shore waiting for God to make the first move? Do you access the power of God through stepping in the water through obedience? God promises His power, protection, and provision, but He is waiting for the first faith move before He grants you the fullness of life in Him. Get off the shore into the water and watch the power of God take you on the amazing journey called the abundant life.