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Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Oct 12, 2006                               The Way Maker                  Kathleen Maples

Jos 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Jos 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

When Moses was dead, God spoke to Joshua and told him to get ready to lead the people across the Jordan River. Jordan means, descender, river of judgment. God has something for His people, and He is ready for them to inherit that which He has prepared for them. He's been leading them through a harsh wilderness, testing, trying, wanting to prepare them to enter in, because once they enter in, there will be real warfare to take and conquer what He has for them. They will be met with opposition, by the inhabitants of the land after they take Jericho. With God on their side, and directing their steps, victory was assured. But they would have to trust God, not their eyes or ears. When they considered what they could see above what God had said, they erred, and fell into unbelief and disobedience, every time. And each time this happened, they were overcome by their enemies. Saints of God, we need to learn this lesson now. We need to be getting to know Him now. When the shaking increases and things begin to fall apart, we must have a full supply of the oil and Spirit of God to light our way in this ever darkening world.

The people were getting ready to cross over into unknown territory. They would face unknown challenges, things they had never experienced before. They would be exposed to new cultures, new people, and were expected and warned to conquer all. They would be met with guile, with resistance, with hostility, and opposition from the inhabitants of this new land. But God had said He would go before them, leading them, guiding them, and He had placed Joshua as their head, and Joshua was a man who had a daily Word from the Lord. Oh, how the sheep of God need to be in contact with the Lord, getting a daily Word from Him. So many things we allow to hinder us from coming into His presence, from sitting at His spiritual table, and learning of Him, eating this Book, and getting it in us to sustain us. He wasn't kidding when He said the Word He speaks is Spirit and life. We need it. We need communion, and fellowship with Him so desperately in this late hour of time. It's amazing how the things of this world, the pull of the spirit of this age weakens, and pales when you have spent time in the presence of the Lord of glory. EVERYTHING pales in comparison. When the Lord told Joshua that every place the sole of his foot tread on would be given to him, saints, let me tell you, every place you go in the Word of God, there are promises from the Most High for His children, there is provision, there is help, there is strength, and if you dig into it, and you see it, and you take it to your knees and talk to HIM about it, I believe you can pray and He will perform what He has promised in His Word in your life as it pleases Him. Why else would He have it written? For our example, so we could learn from their mistakes, so we could learn who He is, and what He wants to do in our lives-and I know that is just part of it.

Jos 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

God assured His people when they went in none of their enemies would be able to stand before them. He promised them He would go in with them and clear the way before them, and guide them into complete and total victory over every single enemy. When you begin this walk with God as a Christian, you too will have enemies. Your flesh will fight you, that carnal desire that doesn't want to submit to the Word or will of God. Your carnal mind will try to fight you, and persuade you to go back to the life you used to live. The enemy of your soul will come against you and try to intimidate you, deceive you, draw you back. The warfare that breaks out inside you can only be ceased by God-he maketh wars to cease. And when we surrender everything to Him, then that particular fight is over. I'm not there yet, but I believe when we sell out to God, and our flesh and carnal mind have been crucified, and we love what God loves, and we hate what God hates and we are aware of the difference because we have sought HIM and learned HIM and communed with HIM enough to know this, then that inner conflict isn't a raging battle anymore. What is dead cannot fight. I believe the spiritual warfare that ensues when we are born again never stops until we die or the Lord comes. Just as the Lord was with Joshua, He will be with you and none of your enemies will be able to stand against Him or you because HE is the one fighting for you. Addictions will fall before Him, lusts of the flesh, torments of the mind, a wayward tongue, anger problems, whatever the issue, whatever the enemy inside of you, against the life of Christ in you, will be conquered as you follow His guidance and pray and trust HIM to do the work in you.

Phi 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

IF we are truly dead to this world, and our life is hidden in Him, what is dead does not war. If the thought, or the idea of going back to this beggardly world is a dead issue in our heart, if the old life we once had before God is a dead issue, we won't go back. I look on the life I once had before God with something akin to horror-inside I rebel at the very thought of slipping away-of not being able to hear the Lord I adore speak in that still small voice to my heart. OF not being able to dive in and go swimming in the waters of His Word. To lose the presence of God in my life would be the most tragic and horrifying thing I could think of that could happen.

Jos 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This is a commandment to the saints of God. We are not to be dismayed, or afraid, but recognize our strength is in the power of the Lord and His might, His ability to conquer everything that rises against us-without or within. He is with us, wherever we go. We need His help to see and understand this. Joshua told the people to prepare victuals for in three days they were going to cross over. They needed food, and supplies for the journey. As children of God seeking to enter into the promises and fullness of God, we need to dig in to His Word and store it up in our hearts, and pray, and seek Him, because when we face the opposition of the enemy that will increase in ferocity for those who are striving to enter in, who turn their backs on this world and their own carnal desires in favor of the life and light of Jesus Christ, we must be on the Rock of His Word to withstand the flood of opposition the enemy will send against our lives and our minds. It's not your casual Sunday morning church goer that experiences this. It's the one who have set their heart and mind on God and things above and have determined that they want to go all the way with God. Be warned, be prepared. Let the Lord prepare you.

Jos 1:15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD's servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Some were content to dwell on the outside of the promised land, this side of Jordan. But they were told, you too, still must go in and fight, armed, and help your brethren conquer the land. You can't rest and enjoy the land of your possession until you have helped ensure your brethren have conquered the land and have their resting place in the promised land secured, too. They were in a place, Shittim, where the people had been tripped up before. When the children of Israel had traveled through the wilderness forty years earlier under the leadership of Moses, this was about 3 1/2 million people on the move. They were given the ten commandments, the ordinances, the tabernacle in the wilderness,which was where God met with Moses; they were given the laws and statutes for how matters among each other should be dealt with. There were civil laws, punishment, and criminal laws instituted. There were ordinances to teach the people how to treat one another, and one another's property. Every issue was covered under the laws God established. It was necessary to keep order among them. This was also a place they were tempted to sin and many perished when Balaam told Balak how to lure Israel with the Moabite women, because he couldn't curse them. So they get up and go to the Jordan, and they stop and camp this side of the river. They were told to sanctify themselves, and get ready to move. After three days, word goes through the camp when you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the preists on the move, then you get up and follow. They were to maintain their distance, not to crowd around the ark, but follow 2000 cubits or about 360 feet behind it. He made it clear the people did not know which way to go and must follow carefully where the Lord led-for His Word, His glory and His presence were symbolized by the ark-which contained the commandments. He told them the Lord, the living God, the Lord of all the earth was among them and would drive out their enemies.

Jos 3:8 And 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.

Jos 3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.

The Lord was telling Joshua what to tell the people. When God's people are on the move, and facing a fight, they MUST hear the Word of the Lord. This river was overflowing its banks, too. Scripture says the river overflowed its banks all the time of the harvest. The Lord tells us in His Word that the harvest is here, and the fields are white, and there's a need for prayer to be made that the Lord would send laborers into His harvest. Just as surely, there is a devil that is sending a flood to try to stop the harvest. But the Lord will lift up a standard, (Isa_59:19) just like He lifted up the waters and stood them up in a heap and dried the miry ground beneath for His people to walk on to get to the other side! Hallelujah! He took them through one obstacle after another leading them in. He never let them go alone! Nor will we go alone as we dive into this precious Word of God and seek to take possession of the promises of a holy, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled life in the Lord Jesus Christ as laid out in the Word of God.

Jos 3:17 And the priests that bore 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.

Now, can you imagine the awe that must have filled their hearts as they looked around and saw these great waters stand up at attention to the Most High God, and the ground that was muddy and miry and soft became hard and dry so God's children could go through? I mean, read this slowly, savor what He is telling you here. He did that for them, and He can do it for you. Are you looking at the promised land, the miraculous life of Jesus Christ you want so badly to be lived out in you, but there's this flood of obstacles in your path, hindrances, problems, issues that need to be dealt with? Oh, God can take whatever the enemy throws at you and make it snap to attention, and watch helplessly as He opens the way up right through the middle of that thing, and clears you a path and whispers to your heart, Come, child. This is the way, walk ye in it. Oh, glory to God. It's not what you see that matters but what HE says and what He does!

Isa 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Isa 43:15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

Isa 43:16 Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

Isa 43:17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

Isa 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Oh, child of the Living God, do you understand what He's saying? He brought you out of the kingdom of darkness, by His mighty power, he created you, when the enemy brought all his strength to try to draw you back, to try to drown you with a flood of lies and temptations, the Lord made a way, and he took the strength and tools of the enemy and put them down. The chariot and the horse implies the strength and mobility of the powers of darkness to come against the child of God, and He said they shall not rise, they shall lie down together-they are extinct-they are quenched as tow. That is a curious, hard to understand phrase, so lets dig just for a little before we finish this.

The Egyptians, and other far east countries, in Africa cultivated something called "flax". It was a plant that when it was harvested, the stalks were laid out to dry, and inside there were smooth silky strands that could be used to make fine linen garments. There was a process to prepare the plant, it had to be stripped, dried out, the outside ripped away so the inside fibers could be prepared. But the tow was the coarse and broken part of the flax, and it was separated from the finer part by the was cut off. Think about an ear of corn, when you pluck it, there is a bottom part that looks like a cork, and it's always broken off-it's not edible. Get it? This strength of the enemy that has come against the children of God, he says it shall be quenched as tow. Tow was the part that was cut off the flax-Glory to God, so the plant could be used to make fine can look at this and apply it to yourself saint! Whether the opposition that has come against the life of Christ in you is from without or within, God says he's going to cut it off. Don't look back to the way things used to be, remember not the failures, and mistakes that you've repented and cried and wept over, don't consider how you've went around in circles in the past trying to do this yourself. God says HE is going to cut that off, and HE is going to do a new thing, HE'S going to do something that is going to rise up, and you'll know it. He's going to make a way in the wilderness, he's going to show you the provision He has for you!

Isa 43:20 The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Isa 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Oh, when you drink that living water that comes out of the Rock of our Salvation, you will be strong because HIS strength will be flowing in you. It will flow out of you to others in need around you....hallelujah!!!

Isa 43:22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

The enemy is trying hard to wear out the saints of the Most High, the Lord says in due season we shall reap if we faint not! Don't give up. If you are tired, and your hands are feeble, and weak, oh, call on the One who has all the strength and power you could ever need. Run into His presence and confess to Him what you need. Trust Him to give it to you. He will withhold no good thing from those who fear him and walk upright before Him. If you are haunted by making mistakes and failures, bring them to Him. Look what He will do with them:

Isa 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isa 43:26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

If we confess our sins, saints, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jo_1:9) He wants to do it, that thou mayest be justified, or declared right with God! Praise the Lord, MOST HIGH that would look on us with such mercy! If you can hear Him calling, run to Him. Don't stay away. Nothing can separate you from His love unless you allow it to do so. He alone is our hope. There is no other!

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And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32