“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, “When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.”’ And Joshua said, ‘Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you… Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.’ So the people set out… to pass over the Jordan… and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away… Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.” Joshua 3:7-8,10-11,13-17
There are times we’re called to act, and times we’re called to stand. God established Joshua as the one who would lead Israel into the promised land by instructing him how the marvelous entrance would take place. The priests who transported the ark, representing God’s presence, were to step first into the raging river, then plant their feet and hold as the waters also stood upstream, by God’s mighty hand, and the people passed by across the river bed.
Sometimes when we move, we miss the glory of the Lord. While He equips us for battle and often commands us to act deliberately, there are also times He says, get ready, take the first step, then stand firmly in my promise and watch what I will do. (Exodus 14:13; 2 Chronicles 20:15,17)
Are there instances where am I trying to help God, where I am pushing ahead on my way when He’s clearly led me to a certain place but is saying, let me now take the reins? It takes a setting aside of our fear at not being in control, but by standing in faith we prove His might and care over and over. It takes trained discernment and keen listening to know when to step forward, armed for battle or advancing, and when the next step is to stand in the brink of God’s great activity and hold on to Him. It might be that He says prepare, educate yourself, then step into prayer and trust Me to change the heart, raise the conversation, orchestrate the next steps. Watch Me divide the impossible Sea. He is always faithful to be present, faithful to lead.
LORD, You lead Your people to make for Yourself a glorious name. Keep me still and watchful before You, standing firm in faith, so I know how to follow. (Isaiah 63:14; 1 Corinthians 16:13)