Crossing Over (Joshua 3)
The day has come to cross over the Avenues for Advance. After five months of preparation, a day finally comes when we will all make a decision to commit or not to commit. God's people have faced other crossings over. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, Israel faced the Jordan River at floodtide. They could either cross over to a purposeful future, or stay behind in aimlessness and futility. God's faithful people always make a positive decision to cross over into His future.
A Commitment to Cross Over Requires a Certainty of God's Direction
When God's people cross over, they need a certain indication of His leadership. The visible presence of the ark of the covenant gave that certainty to Israel (v. 3). We need an equal certainty of God's spiritual leadership. The eight Avenues for Advance have been prayerfully and carefully considered by God's people. We feel that we have found His leadership.
We need His leadership because of the unfamiliar future: "You have never been this way before" (v. 4). A group of slaves from Egypt had wandered in the desert for forty years. They were stepping out into the unknown. They needed the certainty of divine direction to cross over into the future. We are in the same need. To make sacrificial commitments without knowing the future economy, health, or world conditions is an act of faith.
A Commitment to Cross Over Requires an Activity of Personal Consecration
On all great and solemn occasions, God's people are to consecrate themselves. Just as a symphony needs a prelude, a mighty act of God calls for a special consecration by His people. The special manifestations of God's presence should be awaited by His people in a posture of deep humiliation, penitence, prayer, and diligent efforts to cleanse ourselves in His presence. In Joshua's day, they were to wash themselves and abstain from everything that might indispose their minds from the serious and devout attention to the miracle about to be performed on their behalf.
Tonight, we expect God to intervene in a supernatural way as His people rise up to make a commitment. We should spend these hours in special, personal prayer and examination to be ready for crossing over the Avenues for Advance.
A Commitment to Cross Over Requires a Dependency on Divine Intervention
We can step out in that dependency. When Israel crossed over, first the leaders (v. 8) and then the people (v. 17) stepped out in the Jordan. They crossed over into the unfamiliar future with nothing but the spoken promise of God.
We all experience God's intervention (v. 16). When His people step out in faith on His word, God intervenes. He would have more to lose than His people if He failed to keep His word.