“And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” – Joshua 3:13
|Crossing the Jordan River
This story, and others that talk about stepping out in faith (literally in this case), have been popping up to Michelle and I since we started praying about joining Campus Crusade for Christ staff, especially when we decided to have Michelle step away from her job with the American Cancer Society (which was our main source of income at the time) and into the waters of the Jordan… or at least to trust God that He would continue to provide as we follow His lead into the ministry in Florida that He has called us to. Looking back at this story in Joshua, we see the Israelites witnessing God performing wonders right before their eyes, in order to take them where He called them to go. We continue to see God use this story, as well as the stories of other missionary friends, to lead us forward in faith to follow His call on our lives.
Right now, we feel God asking us to take another big step of faith. What we feel God is asking us specifically at this time is to plan on being ready to be in Florida in January. This seems so impossible, and this is one of those things in life where we have struggled with discerning whether or not this is our own selfish desires, or if it is truly God working in and on our hearts. Back in April when we attended a follow-up training in Arkansas, some of the encouragement we received from the coaches was to pray and ask God to reveal a specific time that He would send us to Florida, and then to pray fervently for that to happen. So, Michelle and I both began to pray, and both of us came together one night to discuss what we felt God was speaking to our hearts as a time that God wanted us to arrive in Florida…and both of us felt that January is when we are supposed to be there. At that time, we were somewhere around 25% of our monthly support goal, so January felt like a huge hill to climb, needing God’s guidance every step of the way.
Lately, especially over the last week or two, we have been feeling encouragement and confirmation on asking God to send us at a specific time – and again January has been coming up as when we are supposed to be there. As of this post, we are at 52% of our monthly support goal, so if it were to happen for us to arrive in Florida in January, God would have to move a mountain over these next few months and bring in almost as much support as has come in during the past year. We know it is possible, but sometimes it is hard to act in faith in light of the unseen. But as we learn in Joshua, as well as in the steps of faith that God has already led us through, it usually works that God will provide when you take the step of faith and it is usually not before that action is taken. The waters of the Jordan didn’t budge an inch until the priests took a step of faith (literally) into the water, and only then did the waters get “cut off and stand up in a heap.”
This morning, I again returned to this story in Joshua, just to remind myself yet again about how God moved. As I read, I was reminded of the details of this story – like the fact that when the Levite Priests carrying the ark of the covenant came to the Jordan River, it was during the season that the river is flooded (see Joshua 3:15 and 1 Chronicles 12:15) – so they are not only crossing a river, but a river running at a higher level. But what does God ask them to do as they are on their way to the promised land? He asks them to take a step of faith into the water, and it is then that the waters move. As I looked at this story, I was curious to look at some cross-reference verses in the New Testament, and I ran into my sermon notes from our church service on Sunday, which I normally don’t leave in my Bible. When I came to them I noticed a verse reference that I had underlined which made me curious to look it up, it was this verse: Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” And then this afternoon I was reminded of a verse I was made familiar with not long ago thanks to a newsletter update from some of our missionary friends in Italy, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” – 1 John 14-15
So, what does this mean for us? Well, it means that we are prayerfully planning on packing up our stuff here in Arizona soon in order to prepare to move out sometime between now and the end of December (when we need to be in Colorado for the annual Denver Christmas Conference hosted by Cru staff). From there, we are praying that we will have the courage to be ready to leave for Florida in January and trust that God will complete our team of ministry partners to make it possible for us to report to where He is calling us.
This of course means we need your prayers as well. Please join us in prayer that we would be sensitive to and follow God’s will for the path and timing we are to take on this journey, and we humbly ask that you pray with us that God would provide for our needs by January in order to make it possible for us to report to Florida where we hope to reach the world with the love of Christ.
Please let us know your thoughts and any words that God may be giving you to share with us on this topic. Thank you again for your partnership in prayer or financial support with us in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, in order to make disciples of all nations.