When crossing the “River”

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I was into an edge where so much of foggy status should be cleared in order to see the path ahead.

There seems to be forces that hinder this aim.

Upon clearing the mists, saw a river.

It has a heavy current, a speedy running waters, coupled with dark and rushing wind.

Should I need to change my mind; trace the way back?

Or go forward; cross the river and see the other side of it?

Rivers in the Bible has a variety of meanings pertaining to life. The river itself is a path, a journey a hero must take, a power that overflows. As the river flows along — so does our dreams, and endeavors. God’s breath of life that comes to us like a river isn’t a tiny, trickling stream but more like a powerful, rushing river. In the Bible incidents of crossing rivers and seas mean God’s dealings and at work in your life. We all need Him even now in crossing our individual rivers!


The Jordan River or River Jordan, also known as Nahr Al-Sharieat, is a 251-kilometre-long river in the Middle East that flows roughly north to south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea. The site of the baptism of Jesus Christ and now the Israelites need to cross over it. God fulfilled His promise to Joshua (Joshua 3:7), raising him up as a great leader for Israel, even as He had done for Moses. He’s leading the people on crossing the river. In striving to cross our rivers , like Joshua we have some preparations to do and observe faithfully:

1. As Joshua called Israel to follow the Ark, so Jesus calls His people to follow Him. (Joshua 3:2-4).

The Ark of the Covenant typified Christ. The Ark carried by the priests foreshadowed Christ’s presence with us. The Ark foreshadowed the New Covenant in the blood of Christ. The Ark of the Covenant went before the people at a distance of 3,000 feet or 1000 yards. The distance showed reverence in God’s presence. The distance enabled Israel to see God’s work. The distance gave Israel better sight of God’s guidance. We can never cross our rivers if we don’t follow Jesus. But the good thing is, with Jesus we can even walk side by side as friends grasping His hands for sure not to get loose of it or driven away by the rushing water.

2. As Joshua called Israel to sanctify themselves, so Jesus prayed to sanctify His Church. (Joshua 3:5-6)

Joshua called Israel to set themselves aside for God’s holy purposes because God was about to do great things in their midst. Jesus prayed to sanctify Himself and His church to God’s holy purposes. Because this would be a spiritual battle, Joshua requires that the people have a spiritual preparation. We can never cross our rivers unless we purify ourselves , be forgiven and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. For in crossing, the weight of sin could drown anyone, because fears, doubts and guilts can weaken you.

”Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (John 17:17-19)

I could not imagine how those feet of the Levites priests who bore the Ark trembling while leading as they dipped in the edge of the water. They walked right into a river that looked like it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. Who knows how long the priests stood there in the river? It might have been a moment; but it may have been a long time — in a situation like that, a moment seems like a long time! Dipped in the edge of the water. We usually want the river to be dry before we even make a step, we always want a sure selfish move but God was truly calling Israel to step out in faith. For that time Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest. Joshua reminds us that this was not a time when the Jordan was reduced to a trickle. Because of the spring rains, at this time of early harvest, the river was swollen and overflowing its banks and so a huge faith is needed to cross over it.

Looking just the great water currents brought these knees down begging Jesus just to carry this body upon crossing . Selfishly asking the easiest way of going to the other side on my favor. Yet God’s power is shown more than just carrying us, He even let the water stopped for dry land to appear , allowing us to pass (Joshua 3:16-17). The Jordan is stopped, and the people cross over on dry ground. As what He did to Moses and the terrified people He let them crossed the Red Sea out from Egypt. This miracle obviously connects with the miracle the nation experienced some 40 years earlier: the passing through the Red Sea. He brought them in to the Promised Land with a miracle. This time Joshua brought the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

In the book of Revelation, the RIVER runs from God’s very throne, from God’s presence (Rev. 22:1-2; also Ezek. 47:1-12). The RIVER of life in Revelation represents God’s life-giving presence. God never leaves us; he’s always with us. The rest of Psalm 46:4-5 says much the same thing. God, the Most High, makes his dwelling place (his people) holy. God is with his people. The city (God’s people) will never be shaken or disturbed or thrown off because God “will help her with his face.” God will help her with his personal presence. https://obu.edu/stories/blog/2020/04/reflections-on-psalm-46-there-is-a-river.php.

There’s no doubt Jesus will lead us through these waters! But what is on the other side of it? What happen when we reach the Promised Land or the opposite side of Jericho? Could it satisfy our expectations, desires and keep us motivated, faithful water crossers? Or still murmur , complain and doubt His goodness? Joshua was instructed by God to take for yourselves “twelve stones” from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. So the stones could be set up as a memorial. The purpose of this memorial was so that the people of Israel could teach their children about the great things God had done; so that the work of God would not be forgotten among the generations. We often fail in our trust in God because we forget the great things He has done, and often the faith of our children is weak because they have never been told how great God is and how real His working is in our lives.

“We don’t remember the past great works of God so that we can live in a dreamland of the past, thinking that the best days of our Christian experience are behind us. We remember them as a point of faith, so we can trust God for greater and greater works in the future, because we have seen and experienced His past faithfulness.” David Guzik

When all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan: Israel was now on the other side of the Jordan — in the Promised Land. But what is life in the Promised Land like? Is it one glorious vacation time after another? No, for Israelites and for Joshua it was a place of battle, to conquer a wall of Jericho. Most of all, it was a place of trust — they knew they had to trust God with everything they had because the CHALLENGES only got BIGGER in the Promised Land — but so did the BLESSINGS! When crossing the river is done and I reach the other side of this life; help me not forget how You make it happen, help me not forget how your goodness sustains me and help me remember your power made it possible for me to live the other side of it!

“And He showed me a RIVER out water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof.

And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein:

and his servants shall serve him; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads.

And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun;

for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:1-5 ASV

Bible Commentaries References: David Guzik , Matthew Henry, and Don Smith .

Note: some pictures credit to David Avocado Wolfe channel.