a view from the Jordan…

“… ‘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. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before….’” (Joshua 3:3-4)

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,

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22 Responses to a view from the Jordan…

  1. Beautiful post.

    My dad just got back from Isreal and was able to walk the path of Christ, including being baptized in the Jordan. What an experience… I love how you describe the different views at which we may be at. Peace comes when we stop and realize, Jesus had the same view.

    Cute pictures from your trip. Your friend and you look like sisters. 🙂

    Hope you are having a beautiful day. Prayers and blessings as you prepare for change and a new view.

  2. Elaine, this post is priceless. As well as your entire blog. I thank God unending for the words He's put here via your laptop. Thank You LORD.

  3. Powerful point, Mich, about Jesus having the same view. So very powerful, and yes, we've been accused of sisterhood before. Twins separated at birth…

  4. What a wonderful post! Words for thought.
    I know you and Beth had a wonderful weekend. I caught some pics on facebook.
    Isn't God good! We are so Blessed!

    until next time… nel

  5. I love the post. And, on a lighter note- I LOVE the register in the barber shop- classic 🙂

  6. "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!"

    My prayer is the same…standing in the Jordan with you, friend.

    A very powerful post!

    Those photos are a hoot!

  7. Elaine, this was such a timely message for me. Thank you for sharing about how you are in the midst of the Jordan.

    I have a habit of staying in my comfort zone. However, the Lord has moved me out and I'm learning to trust and obey this year.

    You and Beth look like you could be sisters. But of course, you are sisters in Christ. I love the smiles on both of your faces.

    I had the privilege of spending time with a blogging friend of yours this weekend. Kathleen of Sassy Granny is the real deal. She is just as warm and lovable in person as she seems on her blog. I can attest to that. We went to church together yesterday and had muffins and coffee afterwards. Her husband Terry was great too. They made my Sunday extra special. Kathleen mentioned how fun it would be to have a get together with you and Beth and Lisa Shaw. What a treat that would be. Oh and I forgot Sonja of bits and pieces. Do you know her? If not you'd love her too.

    Blessings and love,

  8. "keeping our focus forward and our feet all the more" — loved that. Something I need to be reminded of regularly.

    Thanks for sharing the pics of your weekend — and thanks for chiming in on my "questions" post on my blog! Love hearing everyone's answers.

    Have a great week, Elaine!

  9. This sounds like my kind of walkabout! I love how you take a look at the journey from different view points. As for me…I like my feet splashing in the water!

  10. Considering I have just started One in A Million with Priscilla Shirer… Promised Land Living is on my mind. Thanks for the reminder that some have traveled before us… and some will be in our footsteps. God's grace!

  11. Have been catching up on your posts.

    Happy Birthday, sweet friend! Sorry this blessing is so late.

    Love your post about letting go. I'm learning to let go of some things too.

    Not always easy.

    Hope to talk soon.

    Love you bunches.

    Sweet dreams.

  12. Yes, the blog was terrific as usual. But the pictures were icing on the cake. I love, love, love it that you went to a real-live BARBER!

  13. Tons of encouragement and depth of trusting ourselves with where God has us, instead of pushing others to where the Pharisee thinks they should be. LOVED THIS SHARING OF YOUR HEART AND VIEW!!!

    With much love for you as well, Miss Elaine.


  14. I'm so happy you are sharing this journey with us. You know everything you say applies to where I am– still on the other side looking over but learning to appreciate my placement.
    Can't wait to see how the Lord works in your lives.

  15. I would love to travel to Isreal one day . . . just to be where the Saviour once stood. Thank you for sharing this post today.
    The verse at the top of your blog is also my life verse. God bless you.
    In His Hands,

  16. wifeforthejourney:

    If I didn't have you in the water right by my side, I can't imagine Caanan looking quite the same.

    Never have I been more sure of my need for you than right now!

    Love you,


    ps – the pictures are great and our Mayberry getaway could not have come at a better time!

  17. I am walking the road my friend. Following after Jesus as best I can. Unsure of His plan for me but sure of Him, so I follow, questioning, yes, but I still follow. I know that it is all about Him and I never want to look back at what could have been. I believe with all my heart that He knows what's best so off I go looking forward to the journey.

    Praying for you and yours.

  18. Two thoughts on this: 1) I think we can be in our Promised land in some areas but not yet in others; and 2)God has shown me, through Jacob's story, that we have times, long years even, of preparation. I now call these the Laban Years. We aren't dwelling in the Promised Land yet, but we are preparing for it, and are amassing treasures in the meantime.

    Laban Years are not wasted years! Praise God. Like you said, there is no condemnation or shame for being on the other side of the Jordan when your journey simply hasn't taken you across that water yet.

    Great post.

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