But He brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land He promised on oath to our ancestors. Deuteronomy 6:23
I wanted to write a post about things in life that block us from getting to where God wants to take us. I wanted to write about impossible things like… infertility, lack of finances, not being recognized for promotion, or not being within God’s timing. I wanted to blame our inability to access our blessing on our circumstances. I wanted to make the connection between us and God’s people who stood on the bank of the Jordan River looking at the raging current wondering how God was going to bring them into their Promised Land. I wanted a simple formula that would get us all through. That’s what I wanted to write.
Instead I sensed God wanting me to write about a personal time when I stood on the edge of a raging current wondering if I could ever pass through it.
Here’s my story:
It started when I was fifteen and came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Afterward I tried to live for Him. Sometimes I did it very well; other times I failed miserably. By the time I was in my twenties I settled into what I call a “fence sitting” Christian life. Comfortably I sat with one foot firmly planted in the kingdom of God and the other foot firmly planted in the world. I liked my comfortable place where I could be both worldly and Christian at the same time. What I didn’t like were the bouts of shame and guilt that came as a result of my sinful ways.
All the while I knew God had something better for me, but I was unwilling to step out into the raging current called obedience. The enemy convinced me that a life of obedience wouldn’t be fun. I bought his lie hook line and sinker.
Luckily God wasn’t willing to leave me there. He didn’t bring me out of sin and darkness to leave me wandering in my own homemade wilderness. So He orchestrated some events that led me to the edge of decision.
I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I sat in church and listened as the pastor challenged me to make a decision to go all in. Ironically in the car ride home Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Dive”, played on the radio and I belted out the words:
I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive So sink or swim, I’m diving in
Despite the raging water I dove in. I decided I wanted the better life God had for me more than my comfortable position on the fence. Pushing past my self-made barrier I gave God my whole life and haven’t looked back.
As the Israelites stood on the bank of the Jordan knowing that God’s blessing was waiting for them on the other side of the raging river I believe each person had to come to a similar place. They all had to move past self-made barriers of doubt and fear of the unknown. With God’s presence going before them each man had to step out in faith believing God would hold back the current.
While the Israelites faced a real river of impossibility you and I also face barriers that lodge themselves in the way of where God wants to take us. Some are self-made like mine, others aren’t. No matter what they are, they aren’t impassible if God wants to take us someplace.
It doesn’t take faith to stay comfortable, but it takes great faith to follow God into the deep waters of uncharted territory.
Do you need to make the jump? Go ahead… focus your eyes on God’s presence and ignore the raging waters of doubt. Jump in the water’s fine!