A Word of Encouragement: Cross Your Jordan in 2009

by | Dec 30, 2008 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Don’t keep wandering in yesterday’s wilderness as this new year begins. It’s time to challenge your giants and claim new territory.

I spent the last couple of months of 2008 buried in the book of Joshua. Casual readers might dismiss the narrative as nothing more than a description of military conquests, but when I delve into its pages I discover the revelation of Jesus Christ—our “Joshua”—who invites us to engage in a spiritual adventure beyond our wildest dreams.

The message of Joshua has been particularly relevant to me lately because I am contemplating some big transitions in my career. Change is scary—especially in a time of economic crisis. But when I read Joshua’s story I am encouraged to take the risks necessary to claim my spiritual inheritance.

“You are not entering this year alone. Go forward in faith, leave your wilderness behind and take the territory God has given you.”

God is calling many of us today to shift from the wilderness to the promised land. Christians who have grown uncomfortable with the status quo are now contemplating big moves. Likewise, church leaders sense a new stirring to grow their churches and influence our secularized culture. As our desire to impact the world with the gospel grows, we hear the Lord challenging us to take bold steps of faith in 2009.

If you want to see big victories in your personal life, your family and your church in the coming year, consider the path that Joshua and Israel took:

1. Swallow your fears. When it was time to enter Canaan, God had to find a fearless leader. He told Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!” (Josh. 1:9).

How would you measure your faith level as you step into 2009? Are you dismayed about your finances or worried about your health? Are you crippled by insecurities? The devil waged psychological warfare against God’s people in 2008 with news of global recession, political uncertainty and the threat of terrorism. Many believers grew anxious, timid and confused.

There is no magic pill to relieve us from fear’s torment. We simply must resist it. We must counter-attack it by confessing God’s Word. When fear says, “God will not provide,” we must respond by saying, “My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.” When fear says, “You will fail,” we must respond by declaring, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

2. Put on your full armor. When it was time to cross the Jordan, Joshua commanded the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh to dress in battle clothes (even though, since their inheritance was on the eastern side of Canaan, this was technically not their battle). Too many of us have excused ourselves from the battle because we don’t think it is ours to fight. Yet 2009 is not a year to sit on the sidelines. It will not be an easy season, but those who are battle-ready will endure and conquer.

You must bathe this year with prayer and praise. Prayerless Christians will not overcome the assaults that are headed our way. Get ruthless with your schedule, even if you must forfeit a movie, a TV show or an extra hour of sleep to spend time with God.

3. Set ambitious goals. What Joshua set out to do in Canaan was impossible, considering Israel’s limited military capabilities. Yet God said to seize Jericho anyway. So Joshua sent spies into the city, and they learned that the inhabitants were actually afraid of them (see 2:9-11). Joshua’s perception of reality changed when He saw the situation through God’s eyes.

How many times have you dismissed a dream because it seemed too big? How many years have you set that aside that dream of starting a ministry, a business or a new career? In Joshua’s case, he stopped going in circles in the wilderness and instead led God’s people to circle Jericho—and the impenetrable walls fell flat! In 2009, find out what God’s big goals are for you and zero in on them.

4. Step in the water. The Jordan was overflowing its banks when God told Israel to cross it. They did not wait until the water level went down (see 3:14-17). In obedience to the Lord, the priests stepped into the water first. Then, after they planted their feet in the rushing current, a miracle occurred and the river stopped flowing.

Sometimes we find ourselves waiting for God to remove our obstacles when He is actually waiting for us to take a step of faith. We are the real barrier. You may feel powerless to stop the river, but you must get your feet wet. Once you start moving in the right direction, He will bring the breakthrough.

5. Consecrate yourself anew. Before Israel could take Jericho, God required a renewal of His covenant (see 5:2-4). Every man who had not been circumcised during the wilderness journey was admitted to surgery! We too have been scheduled for an operation—on our hearts.

Many of us are not ready for the challenges of 2009. We need to set aside time for evaluation, reflection and course correction. We must root out sinful habits, adjust bad attitudes, repent of unforgiveness and destroy idols that have stolen our affections. One excellent way to do this is with fasting. This year many Christians will set aside the first 21 days of January to observe a “Daniel fast” consisting of fruits, vegetables and juices. I encourage you to begin your year with this discipline.

6. Expect new provision. After Israel crossed the Jordan their entire economy changed. They had relied on manna from heaven for their daily food, but when they stepped into Canaan they began to eat the produce of the land—and the manna ceased (see 5:12). They went from eating handfuls of strange, mealy powder to enjoying cartloads of milk, honey, grain and meat; they shifted from scanty daily rations to overflowing abundance.

We can wander in the wilderness so long that we grow accustomed to a hand-to-mouth existence. Our faith shrinks with our limited expectations. We forget that the same God who carried us through the lean times also wants to give us wealth so that we can carry out His kingdom work. In this season of economic upheaval, don’t adopt a poverty mentality. Your heavenly Father wants to entrust you with His resources—even during a time when He is bringing economic judgment on the wicked.

7. Expect a visitation. Just before the Jericho miracle, Joshua found himself standing face-to-face with the “captain of the host of the Lord” (5:14). Bible scholars say this was not just an angel—they believe it was the pre-incarnate Christ. This dramatic encounter marked Joshua forever and gave him the faith and courage to lead Israel to victory.

It is the Lord’s presence that will sustain you in 2009, no matter what difficulties you face. The One who fights your battles is in your midst. You are not entering this year alone. Go forward in faith, leave your wilderness behind and take the territory God has given you.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]