Just Walk In by Natasha Medina

In my personal Bible study the past 5 weeks I’ve been studying the Exodus and journey of the Israelites with Moses toward Canaan. Today was the beginning of week 6 in the study where Moses hands the baton to Joshua as becomes God’s chosen leader of Israel. One of the first contrasts noted is the difference in reaction of the two men when they were called. In Exodus 3 where Moses is called by God Himself Moses seems to almost try and talk God out of choosing him for a leader. He brings us all kinds of “if” situations and excuses why he shouldn’t be the man. In Exodus 17:10 where we first meet Joshua we see none of this excuse giving; instead we see obedience and a “just do it” kind of attitude. Thirty-eight years later we see Joshua take on the responsibility of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land with that same courageous spirit and attitude that he had when taking up the fight against the Amalekites.

In today’s study I noticed a common theme of belief and courage. Believing the promises of God and then having the courage to live as though you believe them are two different things. For instance, do you believe God is all-powerful and can do anything? Do you believe that God can work bad circumstance to good? Do you live courageously that God will do those seemingly impossible things in your particular situation whether or not you can see a way for it to be done?

In Joshua 3 the spring rains and melting snow from Mount Hermon caused the Jordan River to be “at flood stage.” It was at its deepest point. It was probably rapidly raging. The Israelites needed to cross this river in order to head on to Jericho. This time there wasn’t an order to raise a staff or speak to the water or rocks; instead God had given Joshua the instruction of having the Priest walk in carrying the Ark of the Covenant. Sounds all Biblical and sacred, huh? Well, picture this. My grandmother and I used to visit the mountains of Cherokee for a week during some summers. One of our favorite activities in the mountains was white water rafting. Yes, I said my grandmother. Now if you have ever been white water rafting you know just how powerful those waters can be, even when the depth is not great. It’s enough to not only knock you off your feet; it most certainly is more than enough to keep you from getting back up. We are not talking a gentle ankle deep pool of calm ocean surf. We are talking active, strong water with moving currents. I’m picturing a bunch of holy men carrying one of the most important articles of the Hebrew heritage and faith walking up to the Nantahala (a river my grandmother and I rafted at least twice). That must have been a sight! But according to Joshua 3: 14, they didn’t hesitate. They went right in. That took belief that God would do as He said AND courage to, literally, step out (or IN rather!) on faith into those rushing waters. The Bible says that as soon as they touched the water’s edge the waters upstream stopped flowing and the waters piled up “in a heap” a great distance way (vs 16) and the Israelites crossed on dry ground.

What is your Jordan River? Where is you Nantahala? What are you standing over the edge of looking over? God spoke these words to Joshua and he began to take up the calling of leading this multitude of people “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous…be strong and very courageous….” (Joshua 1) He speaks those words to you too. Take another quick look at that rushing Jordan. Now, just walk right in.

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