Approaching Jordan Requires A Change of Mindset

 Jos 3:1-5 KJV  And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.  (2)  And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;  (3)  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.  (4)  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.  (5)  And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

These instructions were given to a company of people that had only known wilderness living. For a few of them, slavery was a distant memory. Those who did remember now were probably over 45 years old and it was something they had known as children. Most of their mentality was a wilderness mentality. They had been functioning under God's welfare system with food and water supplied supernaturally and knew very little of war. Their comprehension of the rigors of the desert had been mitigated by walking under the cloud of the Presence of Almighty God and living under the Fire of God's Approval. Most of them had never known what it was to not have the visible Presence of God available to them 24/7.

They had experienced some of the disciplining of God but even that had be moderated by His mercy. This people knew the favor of God.

In the instructions in our passage God is getting them ready for a change of lifestyle. Although He was going to continue to be with them, their whole understanding of Him was about to change. The very manifestation of the approval of God upon them was about to change. Just as sure as the leadership had changed so life under that leadership was about to change.

The key was hearing God say: "You have not been this way before"!

Israel had been following the cloud for 40 years.  There were times in the journey where it is clear they took the cloud and the miraculous surrounding it for granted. Now the old leadership had died. They had honored his memory by staying camped for 30 days. Now it was time to prepare for the next phase of God's plan for the nation. That plan required change of instruction, change of direction, change of lifestyle, and change of mindset.

They were no long marking time until something happened, they were preparing to come into all that God had promised them. God gave instructions on direction and attitude.

If we have been to a certain place, we do not need directions to return. We can usually find our way back there . In this case, only two had been there before, Joshua and Caleb. When under the old order they had been sent as spies, they had mapped out the Promised Land. Now it was time to enter it and God has spoken placing Joshua as the senior leader.

The mindset of the wilderness had to be changed. Many things changed at this time.

  1. They wee told that they were to follow about 2000 cubits back. That represents the 2000 years from Jesus until now.
  2. They were told to gather enough manna for 3 days. This was against all former instruction concerning the manna.
  3. It does not tell us that they were told, that which represented the "leading of the Spirit", the cloud, would not be leading them any more. It seems that it just stopped manifesting. They were told to follow the priesthood into the Jordan, but go past them while they stood there until everyone had past over. 
  4. It was not until they were over that they realized that manna was no longer available. God gave them blessing and food for the transition, but after that, the diet changed.

Each of the above, on its own, would have been a major change, but together they had a huge impact.  God prepared Joshua to lead the nation into a new mindset. It was from a mindset of total provision to a mindset of waring for everything they received.

Moses had warned them that the nations they would come up against in the land were "mightier and stronger" than they were. (Deut 7:1) Yet, they had to follow the leading of God through the ordained man, in order to get their inheritance. In following Moses the confirmation of his leading them in the right direction was the supernatural manifestation of the Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire. There seemed to be no visible confirmation of Joshua's leadership until they began to war and God gave them victory. It took a greater trust in the leadership provided than it had that of Moses.

God is looking for a people who will move ahead, with a desire to move out of the wilderness mentality into the mentality of the Promised Land, which, for an extended period of time, is 'war with the enemy until they are defeated'.

As we move on in the days ahead, more and more is going to come into our lives challenging our traditional concepts. It will cause us to cry out to God for instruction and the power of God to meet the great need that will arise. In those times of distress, we will see God move on behalf of His people, manifesting His glory as well as doing signs, wonders and miracles.

God will teach us how to war in the Spirit while leading us into battles against those things within first. After we have learned how to ward within, He will show us how to apply the principles of warfare learned without. SELAH!!

(We are currently writing a course on spiritual warfare showing how the world, the flesh and the devil interrelate in warfare.)