Rev Lai’s exhortation in 2011
12 years ago, by God’s help we overcame multiple hurdles and settled down in this wonderful sanctuary. Being filled with thanksgivings, we resolved to proclaim the truth faithfully here. This article was Rev Lai’s exhortation for the church at that time. Today God is sending us to Woodlands to reclaim a ministry once belonged to Christianity – the preschool centres. We are facing many obstacles but let us fear not! Because how the Lord who brought us here will do the same for us today! Let us lift our eyes to the Lord and march cross the Jordan River together in faith!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3:5,6
To lead a victorious life, we must let go of our own understanding and experience, trust and obey God. The Jordan River was a natural defence at the frontier of the land of Canaan. Any intrusion coming from the Jordan River could be easily defeated. Joshua was fully aware of this, and he knew that it was almost impossible for the Israelite troops to cross the river and conquer the land as they were an untrained militia. But God’s instruction to cross the river was clear.
Archaeological evidence showed that the wall of Jericho was as magnificent and invincible as iron pillars and bronze walls. If not for God’s instructions, Joshua would have led the Israelites by another route. We shall learn the lesson of trusting and depending solely on God as we follow Joshua and see how he led the Israelites in crossing the Jordan River and conquering the fortified Jericho. Skim through this chapter and we can appreciate the challenge that Joshua faced in crossing of Jordan River. First, the whole nation was to cross the river together; second, the surging water of the Jordan at high tide posed another impediment as the Hebrew people were not swimmers. But the hardest was to carry the Ark across.
Forty years ago, Moses had parted the Red Sea for Israel. If Joshua could not do that, he would fail his leadership. Joshua was fully aware of this. And God assured Joshua that He would be with him as He had been with Moses. And as soon as the priests carrying the Ark and set their feet in the water, the water was cut off at the upper stream and stood up in a heap (v 3:13). The nation walked on the dry land of Jordan just as their forefathers did on the Red Sea.
This was a juncture of success and failure for Joshua as well as Israel. As a leader, Joshua chose to trust and obey God. He passed on God’s instructions carefully to the people. Joshua’s faith had kindled the faith of the people; and by faith they walked on the dry land of Jordan! Are you leading your family in the way of God? Your faith alone is not good enough; your family must share the same faith you have. Same for the church. It is not enough for the pastors alone to have faith; the congregation must share the same faith to march forth onto the land of deliverance!