I’ve heard it said that as the Israelites were passing over the Jordan River that we could have looked down from an aerial view with the priest’s holding the ark of the covenant of the Lord in the middle of the river bed, and seen that their formation took on the shape of the cross. As we study the scriptures regarding the journey of Joshua and the Israelites we can see a prophetic parallel between the crossing of the Jordan and the cross of Jesus Christ. Joshua had delivered the people of Israel out of bondage, brought them through the wilderness, across the Jordan River, and into the promise land. In the same way, Christ died on the cross, delivered us from our sin, reconciling us into right relationship with God, and setting us free so that we could choose to receive the abundant life!
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness on the wrong side of the Jordan living in the flesh, bondage and defeat because they trusted the appearance of their circumstances more than they trusted God at His word. It is the same way for us as believers today when we choose to live the Christian life by trusting in our own strengths and abilities rather than trusting in relationship with Christ and His accomplishments on the cross. Joshua was able to finally lead the Israelites to possess their promise land when they had learned to trust God at His word over the appearance of their circumstances. Similarly believers can experience the abundant life when they learn to trust in a relationship that is based on the revelation of Christ’s accomplishments more than on their own wisdom, strength, and abilities.
One side of the cross represents living as if Christ never actually paid the total cost for our sin. It is the side of the cross where we are still trying to earn the things that Christ already paid for on the cross. It is the side of the cross where we try to overcome impossible things on our own. If we choose to live on this side of the cross we will never experience the abundant life.
On the other side of the cross Jesus has already defeated every enemy. He has already fought every fight we would ever need to fight. We have already been given everything that we need to live in the promises of God through Christ’s accomplishments. If we choose to live on this side of the cross we will experience His promises in our life!
As Joshua, gets ready to lead the people of Israel into the promise land after forty years of wandering in the wilderness, he faces one of the greatest challenges of his natural life. He’s leading God’s people across the Jordan River. It is the only thing standing between the Israelites end to wandering in the wilderness and the possession of their promise land. The Jordan River represents an impossible obstacle in Joshua’s life that has to be overcome in order to possess the promises of God. It is impossible because there is nothing that he can do in his own strength and ability to lead God’s people across the Jordan. If he leads the people of Israel across the Jordan in his own strength and ability then the people of God will never live to see the promise land. Joshua is in a place of total dependence upon God.
At this point Joshua is standing by the side of the Jordan looking at the impossible obstacle that he is facing. He is waiting for God to do something when he hears the Lord say, “…This day I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, so they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” 30 Joshua has finally received the word of the Lord! All he has to do is trust in God’s word over the impossible obstacle standing before him in the natural realm. In the natural realm nothing has changed and the Jordan appears to be just as impossible as ever to cross. If Joshua is successful then the people will determine that the favor of God is with him and they will follow him just like they followed Moses. If he is unsuccessful then the people will probably determine that the favor of God is not on Joshua and they will not follow him as their leader.
God told Joshua “…take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan coming down from above shall be cut off and they shall stand in one heap.” 31 So Joshua steps out in faith and obedience according to God’s word activating the anointing of God in the supernatural. Joshua puts his trust in God’s abilities over his own abilities releasing the authority and power to overcome the impossible!
When the feet of the priests that were carrying the ark touched the Jordan, “…the waters which came down from above stood and rose up on a heap far… …and the people passed over opposite of Jericho. And while Israel passed by on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, until all, the nation finished passing over the Jordan.” 32 God actually parted the waters of the Jordan just like he parted the waters of the Red Sea for Moses, allowing Joshua and the Israelites to finally overcome an impossible obstacle in order to finally possess their promise land.
Everything is Possible
There is a young couple in our church named Jesse and Lyndsey, who recently discovered how to overcome an impossible obstacle in their life so that they could begin to live on the right side of the cross. “We had decided that we wanted to have a baby, but two and a half years passed by without any success. Finally, Lyndsey decided that she wanted to go to the doctor and have some testing done to make sure that everything was working properly with her body. I decided to get tested as well.
Our tests results came back free from any negative results, but were told that the help of medication would be necessary for Lyndsey to get pregnant. The doctor told us that if Lyndsey wasn’t pregnant within three months, then we should come back for more extensive testing. Three months came and went, and we still didn’t have any baby. It was especially hard for Lyndsey since she works in a family practice clinic and sees pregnant women everyday.
We had become discouraged and started speaking the wrong things over our lives by agreeing with what the world and the enemy said about us. We finally turned to the word of God. Mark 11:23 said that we could have what we speak if only we would not doubt. I showed Lyndsey how Romans 4:16 tells us that we are the seed of Abraham and the heirs of the promise through faith in Jesus. I then took her to Deuteronomy 7:14-15 showing her that none of the seed of Abraham shall be barren, and God will remove all our afflictions.
She took possession of that word, and accepted it as a rhema word for herself. She decided not to go back to the doctors anymore for testing; she quit taking the medication and established God’s promise in her heart and words. Our friends and family had been praying for us for months. Many at the church had prayed for us and had faith when we had none, but it wasn’t until we accepted God’s word for ourselves and started speaking in agreement with it that we actually experienced His word come to pass in our lives.
Once Lyndsey accepted that word for herself, God turned her anxiety into peace and our discouragement into trust. Instead of wondering if Lyndsey would get pregnant, she started talking about when she got pregnant. The doubt was gone, and the words from her mouth agreed with God’s word, according to Matthew 18:16 which says, ‘In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established.’ Our words are powerful containers of God’s power!
I want to encourage people that God wants His power to manifest in your life, but you need to be speaking the right words in your life for it to be established. God’s promise is that if we will agree with Him in our heart and with the words we speak, everything is possible for us. Two months after Lyndsey quit her medication standing on the word of God, Lyndsey was pregnant. This testimony isn’t that Lyndsey is pregnant; but that there is real power in our relationship with God and the words that we speak! Start speaking words that agree with God and you will experience God’s power in your own life!” 33
Mixing the Message
What impossible obstacle is in your life is keeping you from experiencing the abundant life? Is there something in your life that you can’t accomplish in your own strength and abilities? Is there an area of sin in your life that you have tried to overcome many times, but now have given up altogether? Is fear of failing one more time keeping you paralyzed from moving forward in your life? Then it’s time to cross the Jordan. It’s time to start mixing the message of the Gospel with faith so that we can start living on the right side of the cross!
“For indeed we have had the glad tidings (Gospel of God) proclaimed to us just as truly as they (the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them); but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality of God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it;” 34 The Israelites heard the message of the good news but it didn’t benefit them because it was not mixed with faith. What is faith? Here it says that it is the ability to lean on the entire personality of God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.
Faith is a result of building a trust relationship with God. It’s not enough to hear the information from the message of the Gospel alone. We must mix our hearing of the Gospel message with a relationship resulting in revelation so that we can have faith to trust Him in order to experience the benefits of living on the right side of the cross! Many Christians are still living on the wrong side of the cross.
We are fighting battles that have already been defeated by Christ. We are still trying to accomplish what Christ has already accomplished on our behalf. We could spend our whole lives fighting, and never inheriting the promises of God if we take what Christ did on the cross and make it invalid by trying to accomplish for ourselves all that He has already accomplished for us. When will we stop fighting battles that Jesus has already given us the victory? We’re living on the wrong side of the cross!
We could experience the promise of God because Jesus has already given us everything that we need to experience the abundant life. Instead we know deep down inside of ourselves that we are still trusting in our own abilities rather than in a relationship based on Christ’s accomplishments. As a result, we live in fear of facing the impossible obstacles in our lives that would allow us to live in the promises of God. We can look across the Jordan and see those that have trusted Him experiencing the abundant life as we make excuses to ourselves saying one day we will trust God and overcome the impossible obstacles in our lives in order to experience the promises of God for ourselves.
The problem is that it isn’t easier to trust God one day when everything in our life is put together just the way we want it. If we can’t do it now, we probably won’t do it later. You have been called to live the abundant life. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. You could start living it today. You have been called to rest in the promises of God because of what Christ has already accomplished on your behalf. It is already finished. We’ve all tried to make things happen in our own strength and abilities. The authority of Christ rests solely on what He accomplished at the cross! It’s time to start living on the right side of the cross!