When Ginny and I travel between our home in the south of England and Ellel Grange we have a favourite motorway service station where we break our journey and give the dog a ‘leg stretch’. There is a short cut out of the car park we use but there’s an electronic barrier across it. One day I decided to test it, but as we drove towards it nothing happened and so I backed away and went out the way we had always used. Then, one day, we watched a car go towards this exit and the barrier lifted and I wondered whether the driver had some special electronic ‘opener’. I thought ‘Nothing ventured nothing gained’ and decided to try the exit once more. On approaching the barrier again nothing happened… until the front of our car nearly touched the barrier when, suddenly, up it went and we were out!
This reminds me of the stories in the Bible about Moses crossing the Red Sea and Joshua and the Israelites crossing the River Jordan. As Moses approached the barrier of the Red Sea it didn’t part. It was only when he ‘stretched out his hand over the sea’ that the Lord drove the sea back (Exodus 14:21). As the priests approached the barrier of the River Jordan in flood, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the waters didn’t stop flowing. It was only when they reached the Jordan and ‘their feet touched the water’s edge’ that the river stopped flowing (Joshua 3:15).
Some of us expect God to show the way and don’t want to move until He opens the door. But if there is a barrier across our lives and service for God, we may need to head straight towards it, and as we do so, we discover the barrier goes away. If we sit and look at it, nothing will move, but as we approach it with courage and determination the Lord lifts the barrier and we find the way is clear.
An element of faith and trust in God is required. And these go hand in hand if we’re to walk in the destiny the Lord has planned for each one of us. If the Israelites had waited on the bank of the Jordan for the river to stop flowing they would never have entered the Promised Land.
Prayer: Lord, if there is anything in my life acting as a barrier to my work and service for You, help me not to wait for You to lift the barrier before I move towards it. Help me to move towards it, exercising faith and trust in You. I know that You’re trustworthy, because that’s Your nature and character, and You desire the best for me. Amen.
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