Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Raging Waters

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I really like sermons that are based on action stories in the Bible, stories that seem improbable and miraculous but which have a deeper meaning waiting to be revealed. This past Sunday I enjoyed such a sermon. It was about the crossing of the Jordon River in the book of Joshua.

I remember reading this story, Joshua 3:7-17, earlier this year in the course of my daily reading. God directed Joshua to have the priests carry the ark of the covenant across the river and to lead the people of Israel to a new land. It was indeed a miracle that the river stopped flowing and the people were able to cross the river on dry land. I read it and understood that God was making sure the people knew that Joshua had His favor in the same way that Moses did.

What I didn’t pay much attention to was the verse a few lines down the page, 3:24, which says “He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”

Our lesson was more about this one verse than the story itself. Our Teacher concluded that God puts us in impossible situations at times so that, if we have faith in Him, we will see His power and understand his immense desire and ability to help us, if only we ask Him to. And so that if we go forward against the impossible in His name and strengthened by our faith in Him, others might witness our acts and be stirred to believe in Him.

The lesson ended in what I like to call “the take away,” the one sentence that ties it all together and stays with me for days and weeks later. The Teacher said, “If your highest priority is to keep you feet dry, you will never see the faithfulness of God.”

In other words, when God leads us to the edge of raging waters, it is our opportunity to bring glory to Him by choosing to let our faith take us through the water. To turn away from the raging water is to show how little faith we have in our Lord. This makes a lot of sense to me.

As I was making notes during the service I was reminded of a fountain in the lobby of In Touch Ministries, the Charles Stanley organization I sometimes visit. On the fountain it is inscribed: Do as God says and leave the consequences to Him.

It’s true, isn’t it? If we fail to act boldly and with faith, we also fail to see the greatness of our Creator.

I know now that should I be standing on the edge of raging waters, I will pray, and then step in. I no longer worry about keeping my feet dry.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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