How Do I Walk in the Promises God Has For Me? – Joshua 3-4

We’ve come to the point in the book of Joshua where it’s time for the Israelites to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land. “Cross over” is mentioned 12 times in Joshua 4 and 5. It does not mean to go from point A to point B, but instead to go from known to unknown. God was writing a new chapter in the Israelites’ story. Today, He’s writing a new chapter in your life. God showed me five keys that are necessary for a new generation to cross over to the Promised Land and settle down.  


Chapter 3 begins with the instruction, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God carried by the Levitical priests, you are to break camp and follow it” (v. 2). The Israelites had been at the edge of the river for three days. Don’t you know they were wondering how they were going to cross. Bridge? Boat? Don’t run ahead of God. Moses ran ahead of God, and it cost him 40 years in the desert. Abraham and Sarah ran ahead of God, and they are still paying for it today! Start every day in His presence. Ask Him to guide you. There is a difference between having Jesus in your life and having Jesus in front leading the way! Success is seeing which way God is moving and following Him.


As the Israelites waited, “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, because the LORD will do wonders among you tomorrow’” (Josh. 3:5). You don’t get the Lord’s presence without preparation. If you want to cross over, you have to consecrate yourself. Consecrate means to set apart. Every day stay close and clean. Then Joshua told the priests, “Carry the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people” (Josh. 3:6). What kind of ark was it? It was the ark of the covenant. A covenant is an agreement or promise. Second Corinthians 1:20 says all the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ. We stand on the promises of God. God has a promise for you. To cross over, you have to take Him at His word.


In Joshua 3:15-17 the Lord parts the Jordan and the Israelites walk through. God can do what you can’t do. He is a miracle-working God! God not only parted the waters He dried up the ground enabling them to roll their carts and get their animals and goods across. God does not always provide miracles or they would not be called miracles. There are laws of nature. But it is not a closed system. The Creator can do the impossible. God’s miracles do not mean there will be no opposition, challenges, giants, or battles. Difficulty is not a sign we missed God. It is an opportunity to trust God who will make a way. Whatever Jordan River you are facing today, God can make a way.


In Chapter 4 we read that Joshua set up 12 stones they had taken from the Jordan (v. 20). He told the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground’” (v. 21-22). Parents have to lead their children in the things of God. We have all heard the statistic that 90% of students in high school who graduate never come back to church. I was recently studying some quantitative research and the data is encouraging. A very short summary is that if students were disengaged in high school, they will be as an adult. If they were an engaged disciple, they are “all in” today. Commit to having your kids and grandkids in church and involved.


At the end of Joshua 4, we read a purpose clause. “This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD’s hand is strong, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God” (v. 24). Our purpose, the ultimate goal of our “crossing over,” is the Lord’s glory. We are here for those who are not yet here. When Jesus is Lord of your life, the Jordan is behind you and the Promised Land is before you. The Israelites crossed over with no mud, no stain, no water, and on dry land. Nothing is impossible for our God! What Jesus did for them He will do for you.

Works Consulted:

Tony Evans Bible Commentary

Be Strong, Wiersbe

Glory Days, Lucado

Joshua, Keller

The Gospel Project, Ethridge

Shields, J. B. (2008). An assessment of dropout rates of former youth ministry participants in conservative Southern Baptist megachurches (Order No. 3356773). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304494606).


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