There Are No Obstacles to the Plan of God


Claiming the Promised Possession

Book of Joshua Chapter 3

Israel had been on this journey from the slavery of Egypt for forty years. All those who were above the age of twenty when they left Egypt had now died off and those that remained were standing before the River Jordan ready to cross over it into Canaan Land.

Why had it taken forty years? Because those who had died did not trust that Jehovah could fulfill His promises.

Why is there so much doubt in the Church today? Because so many in the Church do not believe that the Lord can fulfill His promises.

They get caught up evolution and things such a climate change.

If you are looking for a place where the climate does not ever change, then that place would be the New Heaven.

We must be truly clear; God does not break His promises!

Still, as the armies of Israel and all their families were as prepared as they could be to enter Canaan Land, there was a great obstacle that was before them, and it was the River Jordan at full flood stage.

*Jos 3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

The Promised Land to Israel lie on the other side of the River Jordan, but it just as well be a million miles away with the River Jordan’s flooded waters rushing towards the Dead Sea at least it seemed this way to these people.

They had been taught for hundreds of years that the promise of a national home was on the other side of the River Jordan in Canaan Land.

All these things bothered these people, but they did not seem to bother Joshua.

They were not completely sure of their new leader, but this was about to change.

To Joshua who rose up at daybreak, things were all going according to the plan of God.

It was faith that kept Joshua moving and it was faith that would win the day!

The spies sent out by Joshua had returned the previous day and the plan of God was in motion.

The Promised Land represented a new life for the people of God, a victorious life instead of a life of slavery.

It always seems that as Christians there are things that we must overcome in this world, and this is not going to change, because this world takes care of its citizens, and we are not citizens of this world.

We are seeking our own Promised Land.

Then the command comes to move forward.

The plan of God is always to move forward and never to retreat. There are no obstacles that God cannot overcome, and faith is still the key to pleasing God.

*Jos 3:2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Jos 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

If we understand that the Ark was a symbol of God’s presence with His people, they were instructed to follow the Ark which would be carried according to the instructions God had given to Moses.

We can just imagine the faith of those lead priests as they took that first step into those flooded waters of the River Jordan.

These people had no choice but to believe and trust in the power of God!

Faith is the key to our relationship with God and trust is putting that faith into action!

The Ark carried within it the Word of God given to Moses and this is a type of the importance of following the Word of God.

These children of Israel had followed a “cloud by day” and “fire by night” for forty years, but an even greater symbol to follow is the Word of God which they would now follow.

They would follow the “Mercy Seat” into the flooding waters, and they would find “Grace”.

The “Mercy Seat” is also the place of “Hope”!

It was the symbolism of these things that taught these children of God a valuable lesson!

Today we have the completed Word of God and as we studied in the Book of Hebrews and all the Bible, we need to listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ has to say about our Christian life.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

He is the brightness of God’s glory to lead us to the true Promised Land!

It was important for this people to keep some space between themselves and the Ark of God.

*Jos 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

The space that was determined would be about one thousand yards.

There are those that have determined that this was the distance a person could travel on a Sabbath Day, called a Sabbath’s Day Journey and it was determined this day as the children of Israel gave space between themselves and the Ark of God.

It would have been an impressive sight to see the waters of this flooded river cease to flow and that first foot of the priests step down upon dry ground.

We can be sure that when we become the children of God, we will go to places we have never been to before!

We will see things that cannot be described.

The path to Heaven’s Gates is a narrow path.

Mat_7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

We could say that the River Jordan at flood stage could represent the obstacles we face as Christians in our day by day walk with the Lord.

If we do not have enough faith to follow the Lord, then how can we expect to have a good relationship with Him?

How did this trip begin for these children of Israel? They had to sanctify themselves.

*Jos 3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

Just what is “sanctification”?

To sanctify ourselves we must realize that God has given us a purpose and it is not to serve this world!

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What must we realize?

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

How can we begin the sanctification process?

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

There is no getting around the Word of God!

Those that reject the Word of God, “all the Word of God”, cannot be sanctified!

To reject the Word of God is to reject the truth and to reject the truth is to believe the lies of this wicked and evil world!

Sanctification begins with the Lord Jesus Christ:

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

We must recognize the Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, the God of the Bible:

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Sanctification comes by the sacrifice of our Savior:

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Our sanctification is by the work of the Holy Spirit:

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

We must recognize the Word of God as the absolute truth and know that to be sanctified takes place by being washed in the Word of God.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

There is no other means of sanctification. It is between you and God before your death.

For these children of Israel they had the Word of God given to Moses which was inside the Ark of the Testimony and the words that Joshua was speaking to them this day.

They either believed or they could reject the Word of God and die the death of not knowing the truth!

It was time to get moving.

What did God say?

*Jos 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
Jos 3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

Jos 3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
Jos 3:14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Jos 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
Jos 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

I just wonder what these priests were thinking as they were deciding on that very first step into the rushing waters of the River Jordan.

We must remember that it was harvest season and the River Jordan overflowed her banks during this time.

We should also remember God has a reason for everything He does.

1) God wanted to encourage the faith of these people.
2) God wanted to magnify Joshua at this time as He had Moses.
3) For all of us, we can see that God does not allow obstacles to interfere with His plans.

Joshua had told this people that God would make a way for them to cross Jordan.

And we can also see that God will lead the way when danger is all around us.

God instantly created an invisible dam.

If the River Jordan was a picture of problems and difficulties that confront God’s people, then it is by our own faith that we can conquer these things.

1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

This miracle came about because of the faith of God’s people.

We see that we can say we have faith, but if we do not put action to that faith, which is trust, we will never overcome the obstacles of life!

So what happened?

The priests were the first ones to take that first step of faith when they obeyed the Word of God given to Joshua and walked forth into those raging waters.

We must understand that when there is no way, even then can God provide a way!

The waters of the Jordan started piling up in a heap and we see that it was noticed all the way to the city of Adam which was about eighteen miles from where this crossing was taking place.

The River Jordan was completely cut off.

This crossing was made because believers chose to trust God rather than turn away and wait till harvest time was over.

We can have courage to do most anything if we have faith in the truth of God!
We can be firm in times of danger.
We can remain calm while others are not.
We can be steadfast when others will turn and run.

We are going to need all these things as we enter into these last days!

There is another song in God’s song book that says “The sea saw it and fled, and Jordan was driven back”

Psa 114:3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.

This crossing by Israel was in full view of the residents of city of Jericho.

Two things were happening:

1) The children of Israel saw that Jehovah is in charge of our world and all things Spiritual and Natural are under His control.
This one thing gave these children of Israel the confidence they needed in Joshua, as the Lord had said and confidence in the truth of the Word of God but also confidence in the “promises” of God.

2) This thing also showed the people of Jericho that all they had heard of the children of Israel were true. They were the people of God and their God, Jehovah was real.

The children of Israel crossed over the River Jordan on dry ground right in the middle of the flood season.

This was a momentous event for the people of Israel and a thing to be remembered.

This thing should be a warning to all of America that if you want to survive then we must identify with the Lord Jesus Christ!

As Christians we must learn to walk by “faith” and not by sight.

If we walk by sight, then most everything we see will appear to be an obstacle when there are no obstacles to the plan of God.

God’s plan moves forward with every tic of the clock and nothing upon this world can change the outcome or even slow down the plan of God!

God’s plan moves along at God’s own pace!

Amen

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