“Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”
This past week as I scrolled through my twitter feed a reoccurring theme I found in many tweets was the overarching idea of getting out of one’s comfort zone and following God in faith. Can you tell I follow many inspiring people?! As I considered the various tweets, a quote by Mark Twain came to mind.
Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
In my blog post last week, Is the Door Closed, or Does It Just Need to Be Knocked Down? I addressed the idea there will be times God calls us to knock down seemingly closed doors; that if God calls us to do something, we are to obey, persist, and accomplish it in faith regardless if a door opens or not. This week; however, with the various tweets and Mark Twain’s quote filling my mind, I couldn’t help but think of another twist in regard to doors. Rather than closed doors that need to be knocked down, I found myself pondering the need for us to boldly walk through doors God opens, understanding just because a door is opened the road ahead may not be an easy one.
I have recently been reading through the book of Joshua as it is one of my favorites. I mean, who can’t benefit from being reminded from time to time to be strong and courageous? This week a particular detail stood out to me in regard to the Israelites’ long awaited crossing into the Promised Land.
After forty years of wandering through the wilderness in pursuit of God’s promise for a better life, God opened the door for the Israelites to cross into the Land. God gave Joshua directions explaining how things were to happen. The Israelites were to cross the Jordan River during its flood stage and enter the land of Canaan.
Now this might sound rather similar to the time the Israelites passed through the Red Sea, but it is actually different. When Moses parted the Red Sea, God first parted the waters and the Israelites walked across on dry ground. In this case, God’s chosen people had to physically step into the water before the water stopped flowing. Notice what the scripture says in Joshua 3:14-17:
“So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.”
God opened the door, but then the Israelites had to boldly step through it if they wanted to experience God’s best for their lives. While the Israelites had been praying for years to enter the Promised Land, they could have let fear or doubt keep them from stepping into the river.
An open door still requires faith and may involve risk.
This detail got me thinking, how often do we pray God would open a specific door for us, but then when He does we refuse to get our feet wet and actually step through it? We let fear and doubt hold us back. However, we cannot ask God to open doors and then be too afraid to walk through them.
What door has God opened in front of you that you need to step through? Explore. Dream. Discover my friend. And then when God opens a door, like Joshua and the Israelites, be strong and courageous and step into your Promised Land.