Wednesday, August 4, 2010

at the edge of the bank

If you are a skimmer and blogs like this turn you off because of the length, don't READ today.  This is for those of you who TRULY want change!! I pray God can use me to inspire you to MOVE FORWARD.  You may be stumbling or have stumbled recently but MOVE FORWARD.  Get ready to CROSS OVER!

Joshua 3:7-17

7 The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. 8 Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”

 9 So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. 10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! 12Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”

 14 So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, 16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea[c]until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

 17 Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.

This morning as I was spending my time with the Lord and journaling every thought in my head, I began to think of the last three years in the life of my family.  There is so much I could say and explain in hopes of my readers grasping the magnitude of what has taken place.  But, so much of our story is something I need to keep private.  Sharing the details of what has happened through the Lord moving us from Dallas to Austin involves others and the details must be saved for those I know truly have my best interest at heart.  Three years and five months ago He moved us to Austin.  But five months ago, He moved us again to a different area in Austin. Only a small few in my life truly understand what has taken place.  In the last FIVE MONTHS what has taken place is miraculous! What I can share with you, here on this blog, is that it's been SO radical that every single day I wake up feeling renewed.  I could list countless things that have happened, some as simple as our electric bill going from $400-$450 a month to now never going past $185 even in JULY.  Yes it has a lot to do with moving to a smaller, one story home but I think it's more.  As I think about the changes my family has gone through in the last five months, I am reminded of the Israelites crossing the Jordan river.  

The Bible talks about it being "Harvest season" and when I researched what that meant in a commentary, I read that Harvest season meant flooding.  Lots of rain and floods.  So crossing the Jordan river involved faith at a huge magnitude.  The river bank was overflowing.  I like to think about creeks nearby and when we've experienced torrential down pour and how the water is rushing so much that you can actually hear the sound of the water as you drive by.

In our life, as we were getting ready to move, it appeared we were in a season of flood.  Things looked very scary and the change seemed to be full of unanswered questions.  Plus being just a few weeks pregnant, you can add all sorts of irrational hormones.  Many times I just wanted to stay where we were at.  In my mind it would have been so much easier.  Thankfully I allowed my husband to lead and he told me he knew it was time to go where God had intended us to be all along.  It wasn't so much about a geographical location (in some ways it was) but more about the season God was moving us OUT of and the season He was moving us into.  I truly believe for those three years our house was built upon sand, not ROCK.  Looking back I KNOW why and the Holy Spirit has given Jeremy and I an amazing view on the past and what was happening.  Because we obeyed, we crossed over and headed into the promise land.

If you look in the old testament, you can learn about the levitical priests and what their role was back in that time.  If you study scripture further in the new testament, you will learn that as a Christ followers, we are now a part of the ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.  When God commissions us to do something in our life, we no longer need someone to follow except for Him.  We can declare His praises, WE can do great things for Him as we obey!  We don't have follow someone else to see the river dry up.  We can be the ones to step into the waters and watch them MIRACULOUSLY PART!  We can stand in a DRY RIVER BED!  It may have been flooded when you stood at the edge, but as God's chosen one, YOU can step in and watch it part.  YOU can cross that stinkin' river and head into the promise land!

I've heard many times that the only way to really experience change is to be a student of God's Word.  I have had glimpses of what that is like but until the last few months, I haven't understood the magnitude of what happens when you seek Him with all you've got.  Morning after morning I have poured my heart out to Him and He continues to purify and cleanse me. He has opened up His Word to me in a way I did not even know was possible.  We are still experiencing the joy of leaving a land of captivity and crossing over into a land of promise.  The change in our lives is because of HIM.  He gets all the glory.  Instead of waking up with a mind full of ridiculous worries I had over church, relationships, stagnant friendships, bills, parenting and marriage ups and downs, I now wake up with JOY for my family and a HEALED HOME!! So much of what I thought I needed back then is GONE.  The relationships were a huge part of what had to die.  I have a hard time even recognizing who I was back then. But you know what?  You have to know what it is like to be held captive before you can truly appreciate what it's like to be FREE.
1 Peter 2:9 (New International Version)

 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

And if you are READY to begin your journey to the FLOODED river bank, listen to this song.  Envision yourself standing at the edge and then jump in!



Wendy said...

"You have to know what it is like to be held captive before you can truly appreciate what it's like to be FREE."

so true!!

Tiffany said...

AMEN! This blesses and encourages me to NOT stay stagnant...keep moving forward!

Thank you for being completely surrendered to Jesus, 'Manda. It truly inspires me.

I love you!
Tiff ;)

Karen said...


My river never parts until I "step in". When I do that and exercise my faith by seeking the face of God, I always see the hand of God roll back the water.

luv u

Kelly Ann said...

Loved this one! So true! For a long time I viewed the "flooding" times in my life as punishment or discipline from God. Sometimes it was. But more times than not, it was a time of preparation and refining. I wouldn't trade those times for anything!

I don't want to be stagnant! I want to keep moving forward!

Love you, Friend!

Kelly said...

Wow! I need to read this again, so much is speaking to me. I am SO thrilled at the joy God has placed in your heart and the blessings you are receiveing in your family, becaus eyou stepped out.

God is asking me to trust Him, and not in the ways I had expected, but I am so encouraged by your posts and it helps me keep focused. Truly, thank you for sharing your journey.

Tracy: said...

I love your "long" posts about what the Lord is doing in your life! So insightful and encouraging!! Love the song too! Happy Belated Anniversary! : )