Feb 07, 2011 Crossing the Line of Faith
Originally posted on May 6, 2004
Sometimes walking by faith requires taking a specific action step into the unknown. It means making a decision. It’s like crossing a line.
My favorite “line crossing” story is really about crossing a river. In the Bible we are told of the day Joshua assumed leadership for the nation of Israel and was charged with getting them across the Jordan River into the Promised Land (Joshua 1). The Lord came to Joshua with a reality check, a command, and a promise.
Reality Check: “Moses my servant is dead.” For forty years Joshua followed Moses. Moses lived with the stress while Joshua and his friends watched and learned. If Joshua messed up or didn’t understand something, he could always go to Moses for help. But now Moses is dead! The reality is Joshua had no place to go but to God.
Without denying the help and encouragement we get from others, or the necessity of letting others into our lives, obeying God by faith is something we can’t rely on others to do for us. Our reality is that Jesus has called us to follow Him.
Command: “Now arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving them.” Joshua’s call to faith and command to act was crystal clear. Clarity is something we say we want but sometimes really don’t want. Without clarity we can excuse our inactivity. But with clarity, we have a defined line to cross and a great opportunity to be afraid.
God’s commands are clear but they can be the source of fear. So, He gives us promises.
Promise: “Be strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua was afraid! Why else would God have told him not to be afraid? God doesn’t say things we don’t need to hear. He says do not tremble because He can hear our bones rattling. He says do not be dismayed because He sees us about to faint in fear. He tells us that He will always be with us because He knows we can feel alone in the journey of faith.
But promises strengthen the mind and heart and get the feet moving across the line from fear to faith.
If your next move is unclear, pray and wait for clarity. If it is clear, don’t shrink back in fear and wish for the unproductive days of inactivity. Cling to a promise and cross the line of faith. The Lord is with you.