Wet feet, dry feet
Several times this past week as I have interacted with other believers the illustrations of the crossings of the Red Sea and Jordan River has come up. Four times in scripture we read of this miraculous crossing of waters. They come to us in couplets: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha. In both cases the second named individual is the successor of the first. In both cases the successor, having seen his predecessor do this wondrous act, is emboldened to believe God can do the same through him.
Important to our discussion today though is this: in all of these instances some action is commanded to accompany the individual’s faith.
Moses is told, “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea…” (Exod. 14:16a).
Joshua is directed “as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” (Josh. 3:13)
Elijah “…took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it…” (2 Kings 2:8).
Elisha did the same “He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it.” (2 Kings 2:14).
In fact, not only in parting waters but in most interventions of God recorded in scripture we see God asking His agent to DO something as faith takes hold and becomes a miracle of His Grace.
Jesus required some action: “Fill the waterpots…” (John 2:7), “Stretch out your hand…” (Matt. 12:13), “Sell what you have and give to the poor…” (Matt. 19:21), “Get up, and pick up your couch…” (Luke 5:24), “Show yourselves to the priests…” (Luke 17:14), “Go on your way…” (John 4:50), “Get up and walk…” (John 5:6), “Go; wash in the pool…” (John 9:7)…
He asked the same of His disciples, “Follow me…” (Matt. 4:19), “Cast you net on the other side…” (John 21:6), “Gather up the fragments…” (John 6:12), “Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find…” Matt. 17:27), “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19).
“Don’t just do something, sit there!” and “Don’t just sit there, do something!” It’s a paradox of the Christian’s life that at times God may call us to either. Sometimes He calls us to sit quietly and wait on Him, while at other times He calls us to take some action, to work with Him and step out toward those waters to then see His work.
Sometimes deciding to “get your feet wet” is the only way to keep them dry!
What is God asking you to do today?
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.” (Josh. 3:16-17)