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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Preparing the Army of God, #36
And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. (Joshua 4:8,9)
There is a graphic incident in the Book of Joshua that illustrates our death and resurrection in Christ.
Notice the two sets of twelve stones. The first set of twelve stones was carried to the west shore of the Jordan and set up in Gilgal for a memorial.
And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. (Joshua 4:20)
The second set of twelve stones was set up in the middle of the Jordan River where the priests stood while Israel passed over.
So it is with us. The Lord Jesus Christ stands in the middle of death while His Church passes over to resurrection ground.
We are baptized into Christ's death, into the stones left in the middle of the Jordan.
We are baptized into Christ's resurrection, into the stones set up in Gilgal.
Our task throughout our lifetime in the earth is to reckon ourselves dead with Christ and to reckon ourselves alive with Christ. We must receive fully the death and we must receive fully the resurrection life. Thus our adamic nature is dead and our new born-again nature is eternally alive in Christ at the right hand of God.
So God brings us to the brink of Jordan, and then into Jordan. The water parts when we go forward into the river.
The Red Sea typifies death to the world. Mount Sinai typifies death to sin. The Jordan River typifies death to self-will, self-seeking.
Only those saints who are willing to follow the Lord Jesus into death to all their ambitions and hopes can march across Jordan and enter the inheritance, the rest of God.
First we said we must never let go of our dreams and hopes but keep them bright and shining before the Lord. Now we are stating that unless we are willing to follow the Lord Jesus into death to all our ambitions and hopes we cannot enter our inheritance. How can this be?
When we attempt to hold onto our life, we lose it. When we willingly forsake our life for the sake of Christ and His Gospel, we gain it.
It is not possible to possess something for eternity until God gives it to us twice. Think about Abraham and Isaac.
God gives many things to the human being: health, possessions, relationships with people, a beautiful earth on which to live, all kinds of pleasures. We may possess all or some of these for a brief season.
Then God asks that they be returned to Him. He requests that we give them back to Him in faith. One by one He calls for our idols. We are brought into various types of prisons and compelled to perform all kinds of disagreeable duties. Our most fervent desires are denied. Gratifications are delayed. Hope is deferred. This is Jordan.
To be continued.