The Journey
(Lesson 3)

In the previous lesson, we began studying the book of Joshua chapter 3 in God’s word. We saw that God was leading the children of Israel down a whole new path in which they had never taken before. God had called on Joshua to lead His people to the land of promise. Joshua had never been a leader. He had been an aide to Moses when Moses was alive. Joshua was called out by God to do a great work and he had to step out by faith and trust God in order to live in the destiny God had planned for him. You and I will have to step out in faith just as Joshua did in order to get to our promise land. It will not be comfortable or easy for this flesh, but if we will trust and obey God, we can live a life that we could never even dream of!

Handout:  The Journey (Lesson 3)

Teacher's Guide:  The Journey

Last week we saw where even though Joshua was afraid, he chose to live above his emotions and to live skillfully by trusting and obeying God.  He told the children of Israel that they would have to cross the Jordan river and that the land God had promised them, lay just on the other side. 

Joshua 3

 1And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.2And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;3And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.4Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

 5And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.6And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.7And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. 8And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

 9And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.10And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

 11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.12Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. 13And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. 

14And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; 15And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

 16That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

 17And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

Amazing!  In God’s word, the book of Exodus chapter 14, we read that God parted the red sea when Moses stretched his hand over the waters, and the children of Israel went across on dry ground.  They had seen the power of God working in a mighty way, but they had never seen it through Joshua.  God had always used Moses to do His mighty works and wanders.  God knew that in their hearts they were wondering if Joshua could lead them as well as Moses had, so He told Joshua, in verse 7 that He was going to do a mighty work through him so that the children of Israel would know that God was with him just as He was with Moses.  God is so good.  He always qualifies those He calls. 

Joshua had stepped out by faith and obedience and God was using him in a mighty and wonderful way.  Many times we hear about the heroes of the Bible, and they are amazing, but what about those that we do not talk about as much.  Look with me at verses 14 through 17 again. 

14And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; 15And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

 16That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

 17And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

The people had not yet seen the work God was going to do through Joshua, those priests that were carrying the Ark of the Covenant they had to step out in faith didn’t they?!  These priests would be bearing the burden of the Ark and they would be the ones to get their feet wet.  They would be the ones that would stand strong while all the others passed over on dry ground.  Dear one, God may be calling you out.  You may be the very one who is not the leader, but working behind the scenes.  Maybe you go unnoticed.  Maybe you are in a position to where you work harder than anyone else may see, you may be the very one that is having to stick your neck out in order for others to succeed openly, you may be the very one that is having to get your feet wet so that others can get across to the other side.  Maybe you go unrecognized by most, but let me tell you something.  God sees you!  He has not forgotten you!  Maybe you are the prayer warrior that no one knows about.  They don’t see the hours you spend in prayer on their behalf.  Maybe they don’t know the days you fast and sacrifice so that their lives will be blessed.  Beloved, God sees and He will honor you!  Many times at our churches we are thankful for our Pastors, and we should be, we give compliments to our teachers, deacons, and our song leaders as we should, but what about the janitors?  What about that quiet lady or gentlemen in the pews every meeting time that is always faithful to come.  What about the ones who secretly meet with God daily on behalf of their fellow church family?  What about those jobs that go unnoticed?  You are just as important in God’s master plan as any other!  Whatever God has called you to do, do it unto Him and do it well!

Colossians 3:22-24 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men;  Knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD CHRIST.”

Many times people look at a nation and the movie stars and government officials stand in the spotlight, but the everyday people who work and sweat and toil, they are just as important.  The same goes in any business.  There is a quote that I love by Martin Luther King Jr.  I may have used it before but I am going to use it again in this lesson because I love it so much.  It says this.

 

 “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

 

We are all very important in the body of Christ, no matter what God has called you to do, do it well and do it unto Him with all of your heart with skill!  Just as the priests had to be the ones to get their feet wet for the others to cross over, you may be one that must stand in the gap for others, but do it with great joy and know that your Father in Heaven sees your hard work and He is pleased when we do it with great joy unto Him. 

 

We are called to be a Holy Priesthood.  We are going to have to stand up and step out by faith first, before all the others so that they can safely get to their promised land! 

 

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, A Royal Priesthood, an Holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”

 

The Lord is looking for courageous men, women, boys, and girls who will step out by faith and stand in the gap for the souls that do not know Christ just as it speaks of in Ezekiel 22.

 

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”

 

God needs you and I that He has called out, to stand in the gap, to bear the burden so that others may know Christ and have eternal life abundantly and not be destroyed by the evil one!  He has called you and I, will we offer ourselves a living sacrifice and stand in the gap, getting our feet wet so that others may cross over safely to the other side.

 

Romans 12 teaches us that everyone in the family of God is important and combine be make up one body and we all have different gifts that we should use for God’s glory and to edify one another.  Everyone cannot be a pastor, everyone can not be a singer, and everyone can not be a janitor.  We all have a important role that we must live in because God has planned that specifically for our lives and only when we obey God’s plans is when we can we truly succeed. 

 

Suppose you are one that God has called to be a leader.  Maybe a Pastor, or a teacher, perhaps you have been called to lead others and you are afraid and know that you cannot do it alone.  That is just how Joshua felt and the others in the Bible that God uses to lead His people.  They were everyday men and women that stayed open to God’s call and was willing to be an instrument for His great work.  We must be willing to answer the call of God no matter what it is, because if we do not, we hinder God’s work and others may suffer. 

 

Think of the Children of Israel, if Moses had not been willing to lead them.  What about other heroes in history.  Think of Harriet Tubman and the people who worked as part of the Underground Railroad and helped so many people reach freedom.  Think about the many heroes during the Holocaust.  It was a horrible time in history, and everyday men and women that God used in a mighty way to rescue thousands.  There are so many men and women, heroes that we do not even know about that God has used in an amazing way for the lives of others to be saved.  There are many people that God is using today in so many countries and cultures. I’m sure if we could go back in time and ask those men and women, were you afraid?  Was it easy?  They would answer, yes I was afraid, and No! it was not easy but I felt the call on my life and I had to follow!  Beloved, no matter what God is calling you to do, know that He will not fail you and He will make a way for you to succeed when you trust and obey Him!  He will do the work through you!

 

Psalm 89:33 “Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.”

 

Our promise lies just beyond the rushing river.  Do not be afraid to step into the water.  Do not be afraid to get your feet wet. It could be that when you step out on faith, just like for Moses, God will part the water for you to walk across on dry ground, or maybe like Peter, He may allow you to walk across the top of it, but whatever way, feet wet or dry, HE WILL NOT LET YOU DROWN!  You will step into the promise of God if you trust, obey and step out in faith on The Journey!  God Bless You All.

 

Dear Righteous Heavenly Father,

 

We bow down and worship You because You are worthy of all Praise, Glory, and Honor.  We thank You for the Mighty work You are doing in the lives of all of Your children.  Father we praise You that You have called us and that we are Yours.  LORD, please help us to trust and obey and follow the paths You have set before us on our journey to You.  Help us to be willing to do whatever it is that You have called us to do.  Help us to do it whole heartedly unto You that You may be glorified and that many will know Christ.  Thank You that You will NEVER fail us and that YOUR mercy endures forever!  We love You and we will ever praise and adore you.  In the Mighty, All Powerful, Lovely name of Your Son Jesus we pray…Amen!

 

~*Cindygirl*~

November 13, 2016