Dealing with Problems

If you want to find out what the problems are, without getting dirty yourself, it is always good to look at the problems someone else was faced with and see how they overcame them. For this, let's take a look at Joshua, and let's start when God commissions him.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant saying, “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea towards the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses so I will be with you I will not leave you or forsake you.

(Joshua 1:1-5)

Now, I know we are looking at Joshua, but this helps if you can compare him to yourself as we go through this. Ask yourself, why does God talk about “This Jordan?” Its almost as if there are a number of them, but there are not. So why is God talking about “This” one? Here God is using a physical thing (the river) that you can symbolically associate within your life. So what is the river? Well, in the natural, it is a large stretch of water that is not easy to cross over. At harvest time it overflows its banks, which makes it even more difficult to cross over. There is also the question of your physical safety as you cross over a river because you may drown in it. In this same way, the Jordan is symbolic of any barrier (physical or spiritual) in your life that you are unable to cross over.

God is saying many things to Joshua here:

  • The season has come for you to do something
  • The place you are going to is where I am sending you
  • Here are the new boundaries that I am defining for you
  • You are more than able to do it
  • I will be with you and I will not leave you

But ask yourself, does some of this sound familiar to you? Has God been saying something like this to you? Does God have a calling on your life? If the answer to any of these is Yes! Then you should look at your own life and ask yourself what is your Jordan? What is the barrier that is holding you back from doing that which God has said to you? Look deeply into your own heart and understand that if God is telling you to do something, it is for your benefit. He is not a God who asks people to do something so that they fail. He would far rather that you succeed in all that He has for you. Lets read on for a bit and see what God did for Joshua.

Then Joshua spoke to the priests saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took the ark of the covenant and went before the people. And the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exult you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.’” So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap. So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

(Joshua 3:6-17)

Now, what is God talking about here? Joshua needed a way of getting over the Jordan, both for him and the Israelites (who were very many). Remember, the Jordan overflows its banks during the whole time of harvest so it could not have been easy for a man – but with God, all things are possible. This is true in your life as well! Whenever you see something that is impossible for you, remember, with God, all things are possible; and in this passage of scripture, God has shown us the way. Joshua was told to get the priests carrying the ark of the covenant to stand in the water.

Remember that God is using something physical that you can symbolically associate within your life. So symbolically, what is the of the ark of the covenant? The ark can be seen to represent the presence of God (it was the mercy seat where God judged the people); it contained Aarons Rod (symbolically representing the authority of God); it contained the Ten Commandments (symbolically representing the Law of God or the Word of God) and it contained the jar of manna (symbolically representing the provision of God).

So how does that relate