As our family goes through the early pages of Joshua for Family Worship time, I asked some questions of the girls this morning:
Q: Who parted the Red Sea? A: God (that's right, all they needed to do was go through it)
Q: Who made water come out of the rock? A: God (that's right, Moses just needed to obey)
Q: Who brought food from heaven and provided for the Israelites? A: God
Q: Who parted the Jordan? A: God (that's right, they just needed to obey)
Q: Who brought the walls of Jericho down? A: God (that's right, they just needed to obey some instructions that were completely silly to the "trained" mind)
The point becomes clear through repetition—God does the work, our job is to obey. Now, the first time (at the Red Sea) it was easy (or, easier). You have an army bent on death and slavery behind you, and ahead of you the water just parted in a miracle. Walk on!
But, the second time, at the Jordan . . . now you are not walking away from an enemy army—but toward one! Now, it requires faith to leave the place of comfort and provision (and "existing," not occupying or driving out the enemy).
But, the same God is there and our job is just the same. Obey. In Joshua 3:5, the day before crossing the Jordan, Joshua tells the people to consecrate themselves (or sanctify themselves) because "tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." When something is consecrated, or sanctified for a purpose or use, it is set apart and made available strictly for that use. Joshua is telling the people to cleanse themselves of all else, to set themselves apart for God's work and purposes, to be simply available for His use.
That is our job. To be available. To be surrendered. And to obey and rest. God does the work. He always has. In fact, the time Moses got in trouble was when he, in anger, worked from the flesh and not the leading and struck the rock. It was a costly move for him!
When we are doing God's work (or, He is doing His work through us) His full resources are at work. We do not need to worry or be anxious, but rather we can rest in peace and joy. (It is amazing how hard it is for us to rest!) In doing God's work, we might be physically working hard, but the real work, and the movement of the impossible, is God's to do. We can't, and we must rest in that He will and depend and count on that. Now, if we aren't sanctified (set apart) and doing His work, obeying Him, then we can't rest or count on that because we are on our own. But, when we are surrendered and obeying then we are colaboring with the One who parts oceans and topples the walls of the fortified cities of our enemies and "does wonders among us." And that is a great partnership to be in!