Never having “been this way before,” at least not exactly, it occurs to me this morning that I just might be standing in the middle of the Jordan River… awaiting the promise of Canaan, yet so completely overwhelmed and awestruck by the demonstration of God’s power in the moment that the view from the “middle” writes as promise just as much as the view from the other side does. The view from where I’m standing this morning feels right and good and in keeping with God’s plan for my life—our lives. You see, a walk to Canaan is never isolated from the presence of others. There will always be those who go ahead of us in order to point us in the right direction, those who look for our leading from behind, and those who take our hands mid-stream feeling every inch of understanding as we go and along the way.
Promise-land living is corporate living, where all pilgrims willingly take ownership of the responsibility of the priesthood—to carry the presence of the living Lord along for the journey and to interject his witness via the feet of faith. Faith feet aren’t afraid of getting wet and are strengthened in their resolve to stand firm so that others might walk through on dry ground. In many ways, those feet belong to me. In other ways, those feet belong to my husband. Together, we’ve made some deliberate choices in recent days to take those first steps of faith into the Jordan. But long before we ever imagined this “route” to Canaan, there were and still are a few people whose feet walked this route first. They have gone ahead of us and have been waiting for us to follow their lead and to join them on the march to Promise.
My dear blog readers, hear me and hear me well. As people of faith, each of us is currently standing in one of three places on the road to Promise:
- Viewing Canaan from the opposite side of the Jordan;
- Viewing Canaan while standing in the Jordan; or,
- Viewing Canaan beneath our feet.
Not one of these vantage points holds precedence over the others. None. All are worthy points along the way in our faith journeys because all of them have Canaan within sight. Our walkabouts in faith are cyclical trails of trust. No one currently living in the flesh holds the treasure of his/her eternal Canaan in its fullness right now. That crossing over occurs when the last vestiges of the flesh surrender their pulse to the grave. Therefore, while moving toward God’s kingdom to come, there is room enough for us to move within-and-around this process of faith’s progression. In the past week, I’ve seen Canaan from all vantage points, and my faith isn’t “less” because of it. My faith is stronger because of it.
We are doing a great disservice to a great many Christians when we try to put parameters around what “Canaan” should look like for other believers. I’m a firm advocate of abundant living, but I can never live abundantly until I have first known poverty of soul. One of the greatest tragedies of a walkabout in faith is for complacency to root in our hearts while living in Canaan. God doesn’t intend for us to set up our tents on the banks of the Jordan as a permanent place of residency. Certainly, he intends for us to rest there, gain perspective there, but eventually, he’ll require us to move deeper into the heart of the Promised Land. And for that to happen, friends, we must be wiling to keep the tent pegs pliable regardless of how firmly they’ve become tethered to the soil beneath our feet.
I don’t know where you and your faith are standing this week; it’s likely that, before it comes to conclusion, you’ll experience Canaan from all vantage points. Regardless of where your feet are planted this morning, let me be a voice of encouragement to you that as long as Canaan is your goal, then your faith is well-placed and will keep you moving despite your willingness to stay where you are. God will tend to the issue of your faith’s progression; he won’t make you move, but he’ll be certain to allow you the opportunity to keep in step with his best plan for your life.
How I pray for God’s strength, wisdom, and endurance to be your portion and mine as we continue to live out the calling of the priesthood that he’s placed on each one of us! We are the living witnesses of faith whose names are being written into a history that will, one day, read like the stories of our spiritual ancestors from long ago. They didn’t know then what the fullness of their faith would mean to us now, but they lived it anyway. Not for us, but for the promise of the One who authored their lives.
Always for the promise of the One. He is why I’m here this morning, taking time out of a very busy day to remind you of your kingdom conferment and of the joy that comes to God’s children as we are faithful to keep our focus forward and our feet all the more.
Love you each one. Go in the strength you’ve been given, and until next time…
peace for the journey,