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NO JORDAN, NO JERICHO
I have realized in my journey with the Lord that He is such an ultimate God and we see this not only in the life Jesus lived, but also in the death He died. I always think of the amount of self-control and discipline it had to take him to be able not to sin during his life so that He was able to say, “satan has nothing in Me’. We are given the bare minimal with regard to His temptation in the wilderness during his 40 day fast. Indeed a time of utter weakness. The psychological turmoil together with the spiritual onslaught must have been constant in His life from a very young age. Have you considered how He as a young boy and later teenager, had to submit and obey His parents through all those years? We just have to think about our own rebellion towards our parents, not only our actions, but the rebellious attitudes we had. Who of us did not roll our eyes, even if it was in our heart? Some temptations we even consider blasphemous to even mention, yet the Word says that He was tempted in all ways and identifies with what we are going through as our High Priest.
Something dawned on me with regard to living in the wilderness and fighting giants in Canaan. These are two distinct spiritual realms or dimensions He calls His children to. When we go from Egypt, which as we know resembles the world, we have to cross the Red Sea. This is being born again from above into the Kingdom of God. We do this by repenting and being baptized, which is our identification with His death and choose to no longer live after the dictates of the flesh, the way we did in Egypt, but from now on, in the wilderness, to be controlled by the Spirit of God. And of course the only way to do this is by having our minds renewed and signing up for consecration. Which as I said before is the words “blood on your hands”. In essence our wilderness years is living from Gethsemané to Golgotha. That bloody road of Via Della Rosa. The endless trail of blood following our cross we daily bare. And we all know how much we want to put that cross down every now and then as the flesh who is in enmity with the Spirit of God, cries out “Enough! I cannot do this!”
We learn to see ourselves as we truly are in this journey in the wilderness and also we glimpse of the One who is calling us not just out of this world, but also out of the wilderness. For some of us, as was the case with me, you don’t even consider Canaan an option. You know too much of your own sorry condition and it just seems that this wilderness, even with the manna, the fire column of God’s presence and the living water from the Rock, is your home. This is where you will stay until He comes and gets you out of here.
But this is and never was His intention that we would remain in the wilderness, just as it is not His desire to have us stay in Egypt. The cross we bear constantly causes us to fall under its weight and draws our attention and focus on what we need to overcome, which is this world and our own sins and imperfections. We are immensely aware of our struggle as our desire to know Him more and be like Him overwhelms and drives us to take up that cross daily. Where Egypt is all about the world in general, the matrix if you will, the kingdom of this world, the wilderness again is about our kingdom. The kingdom of I. The kingdom of your unrenewed mind where you still sit on the throne. Where you make the decisions and still plan your future. Where you have to learn how to walk in authenticity and how to be like Christ in all you do. In essence the wilderness is your struggle with self and learning to walk in holiness.
But He is calling us to a disposition of having the mind of the sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God. This is the realm of Canaan, where it no longer constitute what you still need to die to, the bearing of the cross, but having died, you now stand in the full orbed authority of Sonship, establishing the Kingdom of God. Now it no longer constitute what you need to die to, but what you have been raised up to, which is resurrection life after death. It is from BECOMING a child to BEING a son. It is from learning to rule, to the actual ruling. You cannot rule unless you have overcome. To go from defensive to offensive. Not in your occasional warfare that you have to participate in, but your very existence is an act of war. It riles against the spirit that rules this world. To take up arms and to walk in that authority given, not because you have the title because you are a child of God, but during your wilderness you have learned to walk in obedience and are a son, something that has been wrought in you with all the dealings of God. You have come to the banks of the Jordan River. Just like you travelled from Egypt to the wilderness through a sea, so now from the wilderness to Canaan through a river. There is a crossing that has to take place in the spirit, but this crossing differs immensely from the Red Sea. Where the Red Sea is the identification with His death and resurrection, the Jordan is the entering into His death and resurrection. The one is identifying with His death, the other is entering into His death. And this is not just mere poetic words. It is a real felt ultimate place where you in the spirit move from the wilderness into Canaan. From self into spirit. That is to say you take up your spiritual mandate and preordained purpose in God and all self consideration is left in that river. You come out of that river as an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God, not as a child, but as a son and daughter of God. You step out in the resurrection power of God. In the wilderness we bear our cross, but in the Jordan we die on that cross. The person who stepped into the Jordan and the one stepping out is no longer the same. In the same way that the person who stepped into the Red Sea and stepped out were no longer the same. We are not just called to bear our cross, but also to die on that cross. Paul said, I now no longer live, but Christ lives in me. He was not playing with words, but this was his reality and the fruit of it evident in the epistles. This is the reality of the Christian walk. We like to talk about it, and it seems so holy and ultimate, but this is the aim of the Spirit of God. To take us from one kingdom to the Kingdom of God. Not only when we get to heaven, but even now. To operate from the spiritual realm and being subject to all that it pertains. This is ultimate and there is an ultimate price to pay for all authority given.
We have often heard sermons taught on the crossing of the Red Sea, but not many on the Jordan. The one a sea, the other a river. And why would God choose a river as opposed to a sea as the ultimate crossing? Should it not have been the other way round? In my wilderness journey I have noticed that in the beginning His focus on bearing our cross starts with the obvious. That which is big. The things like our language, our bad habits of over eating, our shows we entertain ourselves with, our choice of friends and materialism and wrong doctrine. It is said that the wilderness is there to get Egypt out of us. This is true, but it is also more than that. It is about renewing our minds as well, and not just the obvious sins. And so the Spirit starts to convict us of wrong attitudes. Emotional issues and inner healing that still needs to take place. He draws our attention to the way we treat our brother and wrong motives. The further we go into the wilderness, the less obvious the sins are we face and also the easier to overlook. Gradually the sea becomes a river. The Spirit makes this Via Della Rosa we travel on steeper and therefore the cross heavier, teaching us the essence of holiness, because in our journey we see that it is more about who we become than what we do in itself. That authenticity lies at the heart of being a Christ follower. It is not just about what we are not allow to do, but whether we are the thing we profess in our very being. In other words, it is not just a Sunday hat we put on, but truly the way we are. This is the process of consecration where He brings us into priesthood. Where every area of our lives are consecrated, that is to say set apart to Him and for Him. We do not get to go where we want to, we do not speak what we want to, we do not put on what we want to, we do not make financial decisions or future decisions like we want to. Absolutely all is consecrated unto Him and what you are left with is nakedness. Completely naked as this wilderness journey has stripped you. The reality is that you do not get to this place in a day or even a year. It is a journey, but the cross is not. The Jordan is where this journey is leading you to, which is to say your own personal crucifixion. Why do you think you get to bear your own cross? You take up your cross for one thing and that is to die on it. Make no mistake, the purpose is to kill you. But when you get to this stage, you pine for that death. One of my favorite moments in the Passion of the Christ movie is where Jesus falls to the ground whilst carrying the cross on the Via Della Rosa and He holds onto that cross as if His life depended on it. And His life did…His new life. When you get to the Jordan, you hold onto that cross and all you can think of is dying. You yearn to cross over no matter the cost. You love your cross because it is that very cross serves as the bridge on which you will “cross” over.
And so as this devotional is called No Jordan, no Jericho, we have to understand just what does it constitute to cross over from the wilderness into Canaan, where we have to face not only giants, but Jericho. It is also important to note that once the Israelites crossed over into Canaan from the wilderness that they were no longer being fed by manna, but by the fruit of the land, milk and honey. People tend to look at Canaan as a type and shadow of heaven, but as far as I know, there are no Jericho’s and giants in heaven. I submit to you that Canaan speaks of a spiritual reality that He desires to bring us into that we, having died in the Jordan, no longer live, but He lives in us. Which will inevitably make you a candidate for severe opposition as you will be a marked man in the spirit. This is God’s provision in keeping us weak and utterly dependent on Him. Can you believe that?
We read in Philippians that Jesus became like unto a man. He stripped himself of His divinity, which should from the get go disillusion us from the idea to look upon His miracles as an attribute because of His divinity. He became a man, just like us. Subject to the same things we endure during our wilderness years. All this to teach us how to walk in obedience unto the Father. That we may look unto Him as we read in Hebrews 12 who fought against sin to the point of sweating blood. To what end was this obedience in the wilderness? Was it only that we may know how to overcome? We read the following in the word…
Philippians 2: 8
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The purpose of all His obediences, the sum of all His obediences, was to die on the cross. It extended to death. Even though all His obediences was working death in Him, there was a point where He died. Why? Why go through so much? Resurrection Life! There cannot be resurrection life without death. And this is where the Jordan comes in. The meaning of the Jordan is “To enter into death”. He does not call us to an obedience that we can fulfill. And if we are only subject to obediences that we can fulfill we are in fact living beneath the resurrection life He has called us to. The Red Sea, which symbolizes the blood of Yeshua, is the way of deliverance. We go through it. But the Jordan, is our identification with His death, and as it is written in Joshua, the priests had to stand in it. And do not think this was just a little river. Rather, this river was overflowing and deep. They had to enter by faith carrying the ark into the midst of it. That is to say everything that resembles the ark, which is the law, the manna and Moses’ staff. The priests that stand in the Jordan, are those who stand not in their own strength, but are those who walk by faith, carrying the ark of God. They have been stripped coming through the wilderness. And the word Priest in itself is a synonym to consecration. Set apart and sanctified. We tend to romanticize this occasion as we read it in the Word and seldom think of just what it meant for them to go and stand IN the Jordan. Unless we realize that there is a certain death that we are to stand in, that will be the sum of all our obediences, a death where you are not in control, there can be no coming down of the Jericho in our lives. It is an obedience where you are not called to obey from an inkling of strength you have, but as baptized in weakness, in His death. It is an ultimate crossing to which we are called to and that should you wish to slay the giants or bring down the Jericho’s, you will have to stand in the midst of the Jordan. For how long? As long as it takes. It says in Philippians 2:8 that He became obedient unto death. This word became speaks of a continuous process into which He grew. In Hebrews 5: 8 we read that He learned obedience by what He suffered. He learned obedience. Nothing came easy to Him and for that very reason He has so much compassion on our trials and rejoices in our obediences. But there does come a time in our lives that the ultimate is in fact required. A death on the very cross we have carried through the wilderness.
He is beckoning us to cross over, because there is a Jericho to face. One that will be ultimate. Each one of us have our own specific Jericho. And, like the Israelites we would like to walk 6 times around and bring that baby down! But what does it require? A prayer walk? A warfare song? Blowing the shofar? No, Jordan, no Jericho. After everyone passed over the Jordan, which is just as great a miracle as the Red Sea, the new generation were circumcised at the hill of foreskins. The wilderness speaking of the law, which Moses brought, but the circumcision of the new generation in Canaan, speaking of walking by faith. This is why we read in Hebrews 4 the following:
Hebrews 4: 5 - 10
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
You see, walking by faith is not something you just choose. You can try, but it will only last that long. Walking by faith is something that is taught in the wilderness years. Until you reach the Jordan, enter it by faith. I said earlier you come out different from when you went in. When you enter into Canaan, you enter into His rest. What does this rest look like? Well, we see that they walked 6 times around Jericho without making a sound. In essence they had to wait. I remember distinctly talking about the Levitical Priests having to wait for 7 days outside the Tent of Meeting before they could go in. And so, the warriors had to walk 6 days around Jericho, 6 being the number of man. On the 7th day, they had to walk in silence 7 times in that day, and on the 7th round they could shout their war cry. Not one stone was broken down by them. They saw there deliverance as God brought down their Jericho! They may have not brought Jericho down, but in them was a Jericho that had to be brought down in the Jordan. The Jericho of I. Very often we want to deal with the Jericho’s in our lives without dealing with the Jericho of I first. We want to warfare, we want to shout and declare and do so many things. And so we do not enter into His rest, because what is required of us, is to stand in the Jordan. We are to stand in that death until the Jericho in us has fallen.
Getting to the Jordan is a journey through the wilderness. Each of us journey at a certain pace according to how much we are willing to die to self in carrying our cross. It also depends on what we were exposed to in our years in Egypt and just how much we walk in obedience. And just to disillusion us a bit further, in the wilderness we deal with self, but in Canaan we deal with giants. We go over to war in the Spirit from a position of power and authority. This power and authority comes only once you have stood in the Jordan, because it is the very Resurrection Life of Christ in you that you now live by. The authority we receive in the wilderness is very much still subject to what we have dealt with or not dealt with. But once you come to the Jordan and cross over, the warfare level increases and you no longer have a kingdom you defend that is of yourself, but rather you come to the giants and declare…
1 Samuel 17: 45
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comes to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
And like David was like a grasshopper in the sight of Goliath and so also the spies that went into Canaan, we too look at our giants and Jericho’s and see just how small and insufficient we are to overcome them. But what has transpired in the standing of the Jordan is death unto life! You no longer come in your name, that is to say what you can bring to the table with all your years of spiritual training and experience, but you come in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.
God is looking for those who are willing to stand in the Jordan. Those who are willing in these last days to pull out all the stops, saying Lord whatever you ask of me, this I will do. Like the priests of old I will slay mother, father, brother and neighbor. I am willing to be stripped and baptized in the Jordan of death so that You may raise me up in Your resurrection power and life. He is searching for those to whom He can show Himself strong and in these last days, send out as a mighty warrior army, able to wait on Him for the right time to give the ultimate shout of faith, born out of death. Jericho is a type and shadow of Babylon in all her categories. Babylon, this world system with all its idolatry. He is looking for the priests, prophets and warriors who will not squirm and be driven by sentimentalism when the command comes to slay all!
Joshua 6: 21
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
I love animals, I love babies. Surely they could have brought the 7 year old girl, even born into this world not by her own fault, into the fold and teach her to serve the Lord Most High? Surely they could save the kitten or dog, the sheep? But no, God said bring the edge of the sword down. You are only able to war to this degree that fights against everything that is human and crying out to save the flesh, in this ultimate way, when you have died in the Jordan. You can only do this when you are no longer a civilian from the wilderness, but rather a warrior from above. This is the ultimate call He is calling us to and also why your wilderness years have been so extreme and unbearable at times. And this is why the Israelites could not enter in because their moaning had reached His ears and their yearning for the flesh pots of Egypt grieved and vexed Him. They died right there in the desert where snakes, the very symbol of deception and the world, bit them. They were struck dead. But those who endure, those who suffer long and share in His suffering awaits an eternal reward. Not only that, but they get to bring down Jericho and slay giants. And after all this, we read in verse 19
Joshua 6: 19
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
You get to stock heaven’s treasury. You get the spoils of the enemy and you get to chop off heads with the edge of the sword. The reason for the chopping off of the heads is to serve as evidence to be brought to the King that the enemy is slayed. Those who stand in the Jordan and cross over will do mightily in the Name of the Lord. Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. I am presently standing IN my own personal Jordan, baptized in weakness. I write this devotional because I myself have come to this ultimate place. And so, when I finish this devotional with a personal word Father gave me in beginning 2020, I read it with a fresh understanding of how He has brought me to this ultimate place, for one purpose...to cross over.
This word speaks of the ultimate requirement He asks of those who are willing to stand IN the Jordan.
YOU MUST STAND BEFORE ME ALONE
Are you willing for Me to take all your securities away? All those things you have come to depend on? Not physically, but spiritually. To bring a death to your spirituality, however profound and prolific it may have been thus far? The issue is not whether it has been of Me, but whether you are willing that even that which I have given you, I have the right to take. For unless I have full play in what needs to stay or go, am I Lord? I AM either Lord of all, or I am not Lord at all.
For if I AM to do a new thing, does it not stand to reason that the old must not just be left behind, but die? Are you willing for me to bring you to such a death? An utterness towards Me where I will raise you up. Not you yourself out of your own spirituality, however true, but even as death unto death and life unto life. Unless the sacrifice is dead in all its categories, there remains still a residue of self. Even if it is a spiritual self. Yes, complete death is the requirement for the call upon your life unto which I AM calling you. A call where I WILL do through you and not you. For all your spiritual doing to cease, and to allow Me to be all that you need for that call. Not sustained by your spiritual life for which you have died numerous deaths, but sustained by My resurrection life alone.
This is not a call unto which you are required to perform, but Me. Even if you are only the vessel through which I will do so. But it is a call of utterness unto Me. To stand before Me alone and no man, even yourself. No dependency on anything but Me, not even your spirituality that has grown this far.
Am I not the husbandman that has the right to My trees? Yes, I AM, even so, should My pruning be severe, I still require My children to submit. More and abundant fruit, requires greater death. Do not be deceived. Have I not said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground, it will abide alone, but if it falls to the ground and die, it will bear fruit and will not abide alone.
Have you decided on the boundaries of your life to what extent you are willing to lay all at My altar? I have given My life for you. I laid My life on the altar. Consider the cost of the call for no call is without cost. Always a death first.
Will you cross over with Me? My anointing will go before you. And I will make a way.
I WILL make a way.
Scripture ref: Jeremiah 1: 5