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The Staging Area

Words of Faith Final

The Staging Area

Words of Faith 8-19-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 3

    Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. [2] After three days the officers went throughout the camp, [3] giving orders to the people: "When you see the Ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. [4] Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the Ark; do not go near it." 

    [5] Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."

 

       There was a vast and unknown battle ahead for Joshua and the Israelites.  The Lord had given that land to the Israelites, but now they would have to take possession of it.  Such an invasion operation required preparation.

        The first preparation was to move to a staging area for the invasion.  Joshua moved the group about seven miles from Shittim to the Jordan River.  Joshua had no knowledge of how this massive group of people was to cross the swollen river. Still, he believed that God would somehow make it possible.  He moved them all with their supplies to the Jordan.

       Having arrived at the river, they stopped for three days. This was a time for organization and communication.  Joshua could not simply send out an E-mail to the troops.  The instruction here took a while.  The delay allowed everyone to get close and see the river, which had a strong and rapid current due to the melting of the winter snows of Mount Hermon in the north. The crossing must have seemed impossible.

       At the end of the third day of waiting, the people were given instructions. The pillar of cloud would no longer lead them, but they were instead to follow the Ark of the Covenant. No army scouts would advance first into the land but rather priests bearing the Ark. And since the Ark symbolized the Lord Himself, it was Yahweh who led His people into Canaan.

       The people were to follow behind in reverence to the Ark's sacred path and the holiness of God.  There was no casual or careless intimacy with God here. These troops were not casting glib prayers to “the Man upstairs.”  They were following the sovereign and holy God of all the earth.

        The most important preparation however, was Consecration. "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."  The spiritual “staging area” was much more important, actually, than the physical one.  The word for ‘consecrate’ here is qadash, kaw-dash' and means to be clean or set apart for His service.  It means to be wholly dedicated.  There were no offerings specified, but certainly, the meaning was to get right with God.  Get ready spiritually.

        This could have been a war-time ritual.  Religious preparation before battle may be one of the most common practices in the world.  In pagan cultures, sacrifices were made in the hope of gaining the favor of the gods.  But this is quite different. 

       There was no ritual seeking the favor and support of the Lord God. He was already mighty in His support and strength for the Israelites. This was simply a preparation process of getting in step with the Lord. If one is going into battle with the Lord, one must be in step.

        As you start your days, it really is a battle out there.  The Lord calls us to walk into His promise, but the land is inhabited with enemies.  The preparation is important!  

  • You need a staging area. This is your local church, small group, and family support.
  • You need instruction. This is how to walk after the Lord and carefully follow Him. Our study of the Bible and prayerful meditation upon it gives us our primary instruction for the battles ahead.
  • You need consecration. This is your spiritual staging for battle-- the dedication before the Lord to walk with Him in holiness and strength.

 

         Father God, move me into Your staging area close to the crossing point.  Strengthen my relationships of support and care in my church.  Give me my instructions.  Teach me how to follow after You.  Set me apart for Your service and a holy walk with You.  In Jesus’ name.