Preparation for Crossing the Jordan
Joshua orders his officers to pass through the camp and give the people this message: “PREPARE provisions for yourselves” for in three days you’ll cross the Jordan to possess the land the Lord has promised to give you.
They had three days of preparation – three days of the old, before a new beginning in their promised land. The same amount of time Jesus was crucified, dead, buried, and then rose again to new life – thus creating a new covenant forever with all those who would accept the gift of salvation. The day we as Christians accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, was really the first step toward our personal “promised land”. From there, it’s a journey of following His lead and submitting our lives to His will for us.
It’s interesting that they were told to prepare for themselves …
“Up until this point, God’s people had been provided for and had survived totally by His hand. Now God was developing in His people a mentality of personal responsibility, for the manna would soon stop.” (Joshua 1:11 – NKJ Spirit Filled Life Study Bible notes)
God’s provision and care for the Israelites in the wilderness was similar to how He carefully watches over and provides for a new born again Christian. Just as a child goes through stages of development where their needs are met according to their age, God deals with His children according to the stages of our spiritual walk with Him. As time goes on, He allows certain things to test your faith, to produce a level of maturity. It doesn’t mean we cease our dependence on God, but rather we learn to partner with Him through a deeper, more intimate relationship.
What is our response today as we hear “prepare yourselves” to cross over into your personal promised land? We know the usual disciplines that prepare us:
- reading the Bible
- spending time in God’s presence
- worshipping both privately and corporately
- regularly assembling together with God’s people.
I encourage you to also pray and ask God if there is something specific He would have you either leave behind, or bring into this new land. Sometimes we need to forgive someone, let go of something we’ve placed too high a value, rid ourselves of interferences, right all our relationships to the best of our ability, etc. Each person’s preparation is different and unique to their “promise” from God.
Joshua gives instruction to the people in Joshua 1:14-15 (but he’s actually quoting Moses’ command in Deut. 3:18-20.) He tells them to take turns fighting the enemies and help one another out so that they may all enjoy the land God has given them.
This is a beautiful picture of unity in the Body of Christ – too often we are so focused on our own journey, we neglect to help others in their pursuit of God’s will. Christianity doesn’t represent a “to each their own” mentality. God designed us to be linked with one another as we are connected to Him – that’s why He called us “a body, with Himself as the head.
“The land would be conquered only by a united Israel…” – NKJ Spirit Filled Life Study Bible Notes
If you are headed to your promised land (ie., a new level of wisdom, understanding, anointing, ministry, or breakthrough) whatever your promise from the Lord, take some time to prepare yourself for the journey by whatever means the Holy Spirit directs you to do. Also, remember the Lord will often use the Body of Christ to help you, and vice versa, to conquer the “enemies in the land” – so you must work in unity.