Each of us travels a life journey this side of heaven. Our journey takes us on both sides of “the Jordan River.” We walk in both wilderness and green pastures. With Jesus, we can walk and live abundantly on either side of the Jordan.
Today, I will share some thoughts about both the wilderness and the lush green pastures; some observations about living abundantly “in Christ.”
Jordan River in Israel photo by Sharon Moye
How do we live abundantly in Christ? It is through Obedience. God desires our full devotion to Him. After all, He is devoted to us.
Before God sent Jesus, our redeemer, He showed us our need for grace when the law was given by Moses to the Israelites. God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave the Ten Commandments. It was for their own good that God gave the law to Moses to deliver to His people.
However, the Israelites were a stubborn generation just like we are today. They wouldn’t obey God’s laws. So rebellious were they, that the first generation of Israelites were not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
God allowed the next generation, whose leader was Joshua, to enter His promised land. The younger generation of Israelites crossed over the Jordan and made an altar of stones from the river to remember God’s faithfulness and to remind them of how their God miraculously provided in the wilderness.
The Israelites gave us a beautiful example of making the altar of stones to remember God’s faithfulness - and Joshua knew what was required of the Israelites to live an abundant life- Obedience
Palm Beach Photo by Sharon Moye
Obedience….As believers in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit within us desires to commune with the other parts of the trinity- God and Jesus. We don’t desire to obey on our own but the living spirit of God inside of us desires fellowship with God and Jesus…thus obedience.
The law was not given to restrict us in this life. God’s truth- his laws- his commandments, help us live free lives. As we look toward Heaven and live for His Eternal Kingdom, lets not look to judge His truth, but rather believe that God knows what is best for us. We know what our lives look like when we are left to our own desires without abiding and leaning into the God’s laws. Not a pretty sight!
Whether we are in a very hard trial in the wilderness or living in the green pastures this season- Stay connected to his truth desiring to obey him on both sides of the Jordan. Go back and look at your altar of praise coming out of the wilderness and breathe in God’s faithfulness- The breath He gave you, rest and renewal.
His Plan…the Wilderness
To be honest with ourselves, we don’t know God’s specific plan for our lives. In the blink of an eye we can find ourselves in what the world calls the wilderness- cancer or severe disabilities. In spite of the heartache, God is there to comfort us. He leads us into green pastures. He restores our souls. He wants us to understand that this is not our home.
In good times and in bad, he calls us to live a worthy lives, to make our lives count for Jesus. Don’t waste your life…. Make it count!
"That is the time to be careful, to beware that in your plenty you don’t forget the Lord your God and begin to disobey." See Deuteronomy 8:11
Don’t forget who we were before Jesus and Be thankful for who we are in Jesus.
“Don’t become proud and forget the Lord your God who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt” Deuteronomy 8:1
Sanctification through Obedience….
As God prepares us for the Eternal Kingdom, we lean into truths and bring good news to those around us; recalling His faithfulness both in the the wilderness and in the green pastures, washing our loved ones with the oil of gladness.
May the Joy of the Lord be yours today as you seek to obey the Lord; knowing His way, knowing his precepts are always for our own good.
Joyfully obey the Lord, and sanctification is at our doorstep!