Sometimes we like to avoid or rush through situations all together. If something seems inconvenient, unsettling or as something that could possibly cause some damage or undesired consequence, we tend to back away. In Joshua 3, we read of this command for the priests to stand still in the Jordan. This is one of my favorite pictures in the Bible. Imagine the Jordan. Imagine the waters that overflow the banks. God tells these priests to go out and walk into this flood zone, to stand still right in the midst of it all.
I cannot say how I would react to such a command. I would consider the electronics in my pocket. I would certainly want to take off my shoes. I wouldn’t want to be wearing jeans. I would not like entering higher waters. These priests were to walk right in there and stand still. Why stand still? Why stand still after God causes the water to part as He did with the Red Sea? Consider how awesome it would have been as these men rested the soles of their feet on dry ground and raised their eyes to look around them. Consider the awesomeness they witnessed that could not have been appreciated as dearly if they simply ran across the dry ground or if they never had to get their feet moving forward in the water to see God move.
Sometimes God wants to take you into the flood zone. He wants to get you right where you can see Him move mountains in your life. There may have been a moment where He has done remarkable things and you missed it all because you didn’t stand still, because you were focused on where you placed your feet rather than stopping to look around you. God still can cause waters to stand in a heap. God is the same God who parted both the Red Sea and the Jordan. You have the opportunity to stand firmly today – to stand firmly and to stand still wherever God leads you in life. If you rush through you may just miss the waters standing in the heap. If you don’t move your feet in the flood zone, you may miss out on the remarkable ways God wants to move in your life.
“And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” – Joshua 3:13 [ESV]
You might be happy right now, but someone may not share in that happiness. You might be “skipping about and laughing with joy” and someone might be “filled with contempt.” You might be dancing, giggling, leaping with joy, but others may fling insults at you, shake their heads or speak judgmental words.
When you know Christ, you are filled with a joy that no one else can understand unless they too know Christ. There are moments in life that do not scream happy. You might not be able to make the bill payments. Your car might have left you sit. You may have just had surgery and daily life is difficult with your recovery. And yet you are living with this joy that people don’t understand. They do not get why you are happy, joyous, positive, upbeat, glowing, etc. They don’t get it because they do not know Who has filled you with the joy.
David danced, laughed, leaped—Michal didn’t get it. She did not have a strong relationship with the Lord like David did so it did not make sense to her. When Michal spoke in judgment against him, David responded, “I will celebrate before the LORD” (2 Samuel 6:21 NIV). You, too, should keep celebrating before the Lord, despite those who cannot grasp the reason. Don’t let someone’s inability to understand stop you from celebrating the Lord’s presence in your life.
“But as the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.” – 1 Chronicles 15:29 [NLT]
“But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him.” – 2 Samuel 6:16 [NLT]
If we consider our lives, we could say that there are some things we neglect. Some people neglect their health. Some people neglect their children. Some people may neglect their pets. Some people may neglect their work obligations. Some people may neglect their household maintenance. Some people may neglect their appearance. Some people may neglect their family. Some people may neglect their finances. The list goes on and on.
Remember when the Israelites decided to bring the Ark of God into battle so that they could win the battle (so they thought)? Then the Ark was captured and for a long time it was not with the Israelites. This was the Ark of the Lord, the Ark that the people of Israel used to communicate with God. The same Ark that contained the jar of manna that was preserved, the Ten Commandments, as well as Aaron’s rod. So David spoke up and told the people of Israel that it was time to bring the Ark of the Lord back. “We neglected it during the reign of Saul,” he said.
Neglected it. This also could be interpreted as “ignored” or did not “seek,” “inquire,” or “consult.” These words are all listed in various translations. Today I want you to consider what you neglect—what you ignore. First and foremost, consider your relationship with God. Do you neglect it? Do you seek Him? Do you consult Him? Has it been awhile?
“It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.” – 1 Chronicles 13:3 [NLT]