Don’t Stand in the Way!

Don’t stand in the way!

Joshua 3:3, 4 “And they commanded the people saying, when ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near un to it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.”

Joshua has replaced Moses and is to lead God’s people across the Jordan River, into the promised land. They have never been there but they have heard about it. It would be theirs to possess. It was truly a land that would satisfy. The Jordan River had been the demarcation between them and God’s best, but now it was time for them to go in. God gave Joshua clear instructions concerning the crossing over. He said they were to follow the priests, who were carrying the ark of the covenant. As the priests stepped in to the water, God would part the water for them, and the Israelites would cross over on dry ground. The people were to look at the ark as they crossed. “When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God…” The ark was a type of our LORD Jesus Christ who is able to open way for us into Heaven and God’s best for our lives (John 10:10). I found it interesting that the LORD told the people to give space between them and the ark (“Yet there shall be a space between you and it”). Why would this be necessary? When you understand that over a million people needed to see the ark if they were going to cross over, it would make sense to you. If people crowded the ark others wouldn’t see it! The lesson is not telling us to avoid getting to close to Jesus but rather make room so others can see Jesus! If you were standing to close to the ark not only did you hinder a proper passage for others, but you left them looking at you instead of the ark! Too many of God’s people are busy displaying themselves rather than pointing others to Jesus! We need to be like John the Baptist who said, “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30). The lesson is, don’t stand in the way of Jesus! People need to see him not us. Every time we complain of another’s success in the ministry we are revealing that we want to be seen. Every time we get upset in our service for the LORD we need to check our motives. Are we serving for self or for the Saviour? I know the LORD wants to save souls, we just need to get out of the way and make it clear that they need to look to Jesus. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me…” (John 12:32). We need to witness for the LORD and we need die to self that people would see the LORD in our lives! We can’t save people but Jesus can! Have your desires been seen more than the LORD’S? Have your emotions been seen more than the LORD’S? Or have you stepped back from selfish desires so others can see Jesus? May the LORD help us all to get out of the way.

Read Joshua chapter 3

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