The Lord has shown me how the various milestones that are part of the nation of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt through to the conquest of the Promised land each has an important parallel in the life of a born again Christian. Paul referred to the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the events that transpired as examples to us so that we would not set our hearts on evil and stumble (1 Cor 10:1-13).
Deliverance from Egypt and crossing the Red Sea equates to coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and our salvation. Wandering in the desert represents our defiance and the time it takes us to let go of the world and make the decision to be fully committed to Christ – to crucify the flesh and to identify with our citizenship in heaven. Crossing the Jordan represents truly making that commitment and taking the first step in faith. The circumcision at Gilgal (rolling away the reproach of Egypt – Josh 5:9) is symbolized by our full immersion baptism. Many of us were baptized on the wrong side of the Jordan. We didn’t fully understand the significance of the act, and because of that, it didn’t seal anything in our lives. Finally, claiming the land and battling the inhabitants represents our anointing, being filled with the Holy Spirit and the spiritual warfare that we engage in as we claim our Inheritance and establish God’s kingdom.
Once we receive understanding of the milestones and what their counterparts are in our Christian lives, we may see that we are not quite as far along as we thought we were in the process. Some of us have been taught, incorrectly, that Canaan represents Heaven when in fact it represents our inheritance right here in the world. It is something that we must possess and take by force. If we look at how the Israelites fought for the land, we cannot possibly believe that Canaan represents heaven. Will there be battles in Heaven? No! And crossing the Jordan doesn’t represent physical death as some of the old hymns erroneously claim, it represents death to SELF!
So where are we? Unfortunately, many of us are still wandering in the desert. At Joshua’s command, the Israelites consecrated themselves before crossing the Jordan (Josh 3:5) but we refuse to crucify the flesh and to let go of the world (Rom 6:1-14). We are still hanging on. We are still on the wrong side of the river. We have not received the anointing, power and authority that is part of our inheritance as children of God because we reject the cross in our lives as it pertains to the death of our old self and the birth of the new man. We are idolaters. We worship things, people and the trappings of the world. Just like the Israelites, we have been delivered from slavery but we still long for ‘Egypt’ in our hearts. If we continue in that behavior, we too will die in the desert just as the first generation of Israelites did.
God has been calling many of us to consecrate ourselves and to cross the Jordan. Are you one of those who will continue to wander in the desert until you die or are you going to lift your foot as the Priests did and step forward into the Jordan? When you do, the water will pile up for you and God’s anointing will be upon you. He will stand alongside as you fight the enemy and claim your inheritance. Rather than defying our loving Father and His plans for our lives, we must stand in defiance against the enemy with the authority we have been given and take those things back that he has stolen from us. Even though our path may be filled with trials and tribulation, our success is guaranteed for we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13). We have been tasked with healing the sick, mending the broken-hearted and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. Those things are to be done on the far side of the river – not in the desert where many of us stand today.