Leaders Who Cross Over
By Mickey Keith on January 18, 20071 CommentThis study is designed to help leaders fulfill their dreams and maximize their potential through inspiration and direction.
The book of Joshua records the consummation of the redemption of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, where they had labored for over 400 years. The redemption of Israel had two parts- OUT and IN. God brought them out of Egyptian bondage and into their land of promise.
Deut. 6:23 “… He brought us out, that He might bring us in, to give us the land He swore unto our fathers.”
In a spiritual sense, the book of Joshua is the Ephesians of the Old Testament. Eph. 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The word `places’ is misleading, and the rendering should be `heavenlies’, which may be defined as the `sphere of the believer’s spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature, life, relationships service and suffering.’
The `heavenlies’ is to the Christian what `Canaan Land’ was to the Jews. The Promised Land was a place of conflict, and often failure, therefore it is not a type of Heaven as some might teach. Yet it was also a place of victory, rest, possession and blessing through Divine Power.
Joshua 21:43-45 “And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he swore to give unto their fathers: and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that He swore unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel: all came to pass.”
The parallel is obvious with New Covenant believers today-
Sometimes, God has to take us out of something, before He can bring us in to something else He has planned for our lives.
Remember, what you and I have been redeemed from is not nearly as important as what we have been redeemed for. With every adversity there comes an opportunity!
The Old Testament Jews were brought out of:
430 years of bondage into Freedom
Egypt (failure zone) into Canaan (success zone)
Pharaoh’s tyranny into Joshua’s leadership
The dry wilderness into a land flowing with milk and honey
The word translated `church’ over 100 times in the New Testament from the Greek word “Ecclesia”, means “called out ones”. It always refers to people, not buildings or organizations.
The New Testament Church is called out of :
Sickness and into Divine health
Poverty and into Divine wealth
Spiritual bondage into liberty
Insecurity into Assurance
Turmoil into Peace
The key phrase of this great book of strategy and warfare is found in chapter 1 verse 2,3. “Moses, my servant is dead. Now arise and GO OVER this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give unto them. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread, that I have given you , as I did unto Moses.” KJV
Notice the command is to Rise Up -Take Action- Don’t be static, but move forward! God is ready to fulfill His promise to give Canaan Land to His people.
Joshua’s name is taken from the same root as Jesus, and means ‘Jehovah is Savior’. Joshua is a type of Christ, chosen to take God’s people into their abundant inheritance. Pharaoh in the scriptures is a type of Satan, and Egypt is a type of the world.
`Moses, my servant is dead.’ Moses was the representative of the law, which could never give a sinful people total victory.
Hebrews 7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. NIV
Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace.” KJV
Romans 8:2-4 “The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death. The Law of Moses cannot do this, because our selfish desires make the Law weak. But God set you free when he sent his own Son to be like us sinners and to be a sacrifice for our sin. God used Christ's body to condemn sin. He did this, so that we would do what the Law commands by obeying the Spirit instead of our own desires.” CEV
Moses’ death also speaks of separation from the past; from a previous generation and way of doing things, in order to grasp the future.
The Law of Sacrifice as taught by John Maxwell reads like this:
“To go up, you’ve got to give up”.
You can’t have the Promised Land and hold unto Moses’ way of doing things.
Moses was a great man, perhaps the number one personality in the Old Testament. He wrote the first five books of the Pentateuch. God gave him incredible revelation of the Creation of all things.
He demonstrated great courage by starting over in life at age 80, confronting Pharaoh, and leading over 3 million people out of bondage. He climbed Mount Sinai, where he met with God and received the 10 commandments. From Divine directives, Moses also established the priesthood, sacrifices and tabernacle order of worship. But one of his greatest qualities was the mercy which enabled him to intercede for God’s people, time and again when they would disobey.
YET - Moses never entered into the Promised Land because of his disobedience. He died on the border of his inheritance along with the generation of people who believed the evil report of the ten spies in Numbers chapter13.
In essence, God was saying to Joshua, “Moses is gone. You can’t rely on the traditions of the past. It is a new day…You are a new breed; a new generation that will move on into the land, take the walled cities and live in their inheritance! I will go with you…Be strong and very courageous! Defeat the giants, see the miraculous and walk in to my provision.”
Today, the Lord is revealing leaders who are able to go forward and lead His people into new dimensions of His Glory and Grace. Not everyone can go where we are going. Some have already `died in the wilderness‘ stopping on the border of their inheritance.
Genesis 11 ends with these words; “and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.”
Terah, whose name means `delay’ was the father of Abraham, who of course, is the father of our faith. Somewhere along the way, Terah decided he would stop in Haran, which means “desert place”, rather than pressing on to Canaan Land with the others. He wasted many years and died in a `dry place’ never seeing God’s fulfillment to Abraham.
Unbelief and sin kept an entire generation out of the Promised Land. But what was it that kept them out, and can we learn from their mistakes today?
It has been said that the `New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, and that the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed’.
With that in mind, read the words of Paul to the Corinthians -
1 Corinthians 10:1-11 “For I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God's Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea,
And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God];
And all [of them] ate the same spiritual (supernaturally given) food,
And they all drank the same spiritual (supernaturally given) drink. For they drank from a spiritual Rock which followed them [produced by the sole power of God Himself without natural instrumentality], and the Rock was Christ.
Nevertheless, God was not pleased with the great majority of them, for they were overthrown and strewn down along [the ground] in the wilderness.
Now these things are examples (warnings and admonitions) for us not to desire or crave or covet or lust after evil and carnal things as they did.
Do not be worshipers of false gods as some of them were, as it is written, `The people sat down to eat and drink [the sacrifices offered to the golden calf at Horeb] and rose to sport (to dance and give way to jesting and hilarity).’
We must not gratify evil desire and indulge in immorality as some of them did--and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell dead in a single day!
We should not tempt the Lord [try His patience, become a trial to Him, critically appraise Him, and exploit His goodness] as some of them did--and were killed by poisonous serpents;
Nor discontentedly complain as some of them did--and were put out of the way entirely by the destroyer (death).” AMP.
Here we see many types for the New Testament believer to observe. In fact, Paul says in verse 6, “These things happened as examples to us.”
Let‘s heed the warnings of their sinful example.
First, the Cloud and Sea into which they were baptized are symbolic of both water and Holy Spirit baptism. The manna and water from the rock are also types of the communion elements. So it’s easy to see how these stories could apply to us who follow Christ today.
Here are the Five Sins that kept the Jewish people out of their Promised Land, and that are keeping many form reaching their full potential in Christ and the Kingdom of God.
1. Lusting after evil things. Lust always desires to satisfy self at the expense of God and others. On the other hand, Love always seeks the good of others at the expense of one’s self.
2. Idolatry. To esteem anyone or anything more valuable on our list of priorities than God alone. Idolatry always led God’s people into bondage in the Old Testament. Satan is interested in turning our trust and affection away from the living God. Anything that takes God’s place serves well as an idol of our devotion and attention.
3. Immorality. Some have said that sex sins have become the `scourge of the church.’ God still reserves sexual expression and fulfillment for the marriage relationship.
4. Tempting Christ. God’s people grew impatient and began to speak against God and His leader Moses. They tried God’s patience by complaining about His provision and not being satisfied. So He sent poisonous snakes which killed many of them. A brass snake was put on a pole. A serpent is a symbol of sin judged, and brass speaks of Divine judgment also. The brass serpent then was a type of Christ “made sin for us” in bearing our judgment. John 3:14,15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
5. Murmuring. In Numbers 16, we read the story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, men who led a rebellion against God and Moses, His chosen leader. 250 of the leaders were consumed by an earthquake for their actions. Then the Bible says the people murmured against God again, and a plague swept through the camp, killing a total of 14,700 people.
The following are a few commands God gave His people as they were to cross over into their `Promise Land’. These can be applied to our leadership today.
1.“Follow the ark, for you have not passed this way before.” This means to always stay in the presence of God. Pursue His presence, because He will lead in ways that are new and different to us. Be willing to expand, to stretch your ministry, or career. Take your business to the next level. Believe God for finances and for the fulfillment of your dreams. Cross over from `just enough’ into the place of `more than enough’.
2. Get your feet wet. The Levites were to carry the ark on their shoulders, and step into the flooded Jordan River. When their feet touched the water, the river rolled back, allowing them to stand on dry ground. But first, they had to get their feet wet. So, if you get cold feet when you are planning to lead, you’re not alone.
3. These leaders also had to walk out in front. The command was at least 1,000 feet ahead of everyone else, so that the people could see the ark. Leaders always face opposition that no one else faces. They are at the `point of the spear’, establishing a `beach-head’ for those who followed.
4. They built a memorial. In Joshua chapter 4, God commanded them to take 12 `memorial stones’ from the dry river bed, one for each of the tribes of Israel and build an altar at Gilgal. Also in verse 9 Joshua was commanded to place 12 stones in the riverbed where the feet of the priest stood. These were to remind the people for generations to come of God’s faithfulness and provision. When God answers prayer, we should always respond with thanksgiving and praise.
Be willing to make the effort to `cross over ‘ into your land of abundant living!
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