Then the question arises - what is it that I am birthing? In the natural, that is simple. Knowing the gender will help you decide what color to make the nursery, what color clothes to buy, what sort of names to pick out. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple in the spiritual. You ask God, "What is it you have impregnated me with? What seed have you planted within me?" There are a few things you can do to find the answers to these questions.
The first thing I must do is look back over my life - what processes have I been through; what has taken place in my life that I have come through; what can I minister to someone else (without anger, pain, bitterness or hostility); what have I been healed and delivered from? What talents and gifts has God placed in me? What is my passion?
Secondly, what has God spoken to me through His Spirit or through His Word?
Thirdly, what prophecies have I received concerning my calling which confirm or bear witness with my spirit and/or that which God has already revealed to me through prayer.
Once I have honestly answered these questions, I should have a fairly good idea what it is God has called me to do.
Everything you have gone through has been for a reason. Now it is time to prepare to cross over.
Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, "Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you shall cross over this Jordan, to go in and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess. [Emphasis mine.]
Again, God is saying there is a time to "pass" or go through something - use this time to prepare for what you are getting ready to go into. For you shall cross over this Jordan (circumstances, problems, situations, etc.), to go into that which God has prepared for you to possess! So, what do you do while you are passing through? PREPARE! Make provision. Prepare to cross over - get things ready and in order so when you cross over - things will be in place.
So, let's look at the word "prepare". I want to break it down to make it really, really clear
According to Webster's, "pre" means before, prior to, in advance of, beforehand, in front of. Now, "pare" means to reduce or remove by or as by cutting; diminish or decrease gradually; to pare or cut down, to make ready. There is a cutting away of some things prior to or in advance of being in position to cross over.
Webster's further defines "prepare" as:
Arrange, workout, schedule, layout, fix, make ready, predetermine, forethink, premeditate, equip.
"Provision" is defined as:
Necessary supplies; preparatory measure; qualification.
I have found that this process of going through is a time to seek God, to stay in the Word and remain prayerful in order to prepare and become equipped to cross over to the other side or to the next level; a time to become qualified for what He is bringing me into - the land which I am to possess - the place, in time, He has promised to me. There is a process - interdependent steps, which will cut away and strip off me things which may be hindering me from moving to the next level. These processes must take place prior to me becoming qualified and equipped!
In Esther 2, the Word talks about the "preparation" that Esther had to go through before being introduced to the king. It reads:
8 So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.
. . .
12 Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months' preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace.
You will note that there were twelve months of preparation time - six months with oil and six months with perfumes. Preparation time is a time to spend with the Holy Spirit (oil of myrrh), allowing Him to do a work in you. In Biblical times, myrrh was used as a disinfectant, something used for deep cleansing as well as preparation of the dead. It's a time to prepare to be taken to the next level, to cut away and remove the impurities. (We'll get into this discussion later). Then there were six months with perfumes. Perfumes will leave a sweet fragrance. Not only on the wearer but those who are in the presence of the wearer will be able to enjoy the fragrance. When we have not allowed the Holy Spirit to do a deep cleaning, our "flesh" has not been cut away. We have not been "pre" - "pared". There is a stench about us. We must submit to the cleansing through the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to remove the impurities so we can be qualified for our assignment.
Getting back to Joshua, the children of Israel had prepared to cross the Jordan, and the story continues.
1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged (temporarily) there before they crossed over.
2 So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp;
3 and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
4 "Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before."
5 And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you."
6 Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, "Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. [Emphasis mine].
The people lodged for three days near the Jordan before crossing over. They lodged - camped temporarily - before crossing over. During this time they were receiving instructions from the captains of the camp. Before crossing over to the next level, it is imperative that we get instruction from the Holy Spirit and from those mentors and spiritual counselors you have trust in. They were told that when they saw the ark of the covenant - the presence of God - to go after it! Look for the presence of God in your situation or circumstance for God will be in the midst of your situation. You are passing over into a new thing, a new level in God. You have never been this way before. The people were told to sanctify themselves; to set themselves apart, to consecrate and to purify themselves before God. Many of us are trying to cross over without first going through the process of purification and sanctification. We are only cheating ourselves. We cannot go any further than we are willing to submit to the process. Gifts and talent may get you where you want to be but you must also have developed the character to keep you there. Character is developed through process.
8 "You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, 'When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.' "
9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God."
11 "Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. [Emphasis mine].
Here again, Joshua states that the Lord says that "He will, without fail" drive out from before you all those "ites" - those things that come up against you, those things of the flesh that must be removed in order for you to possess the next level. But know that God is crossing over before you in your situation. He's waiting on you to take that step of faith.
12 "Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe.
13 "And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap."
14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,
15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest),
16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.
The Word says we are kings and priests - we are carriers of the ark - the presence of God. As we step out, in faith, into the midst of our situation, God will cause the waters to part - the situations to stand still - so we may cross over on dry ground - not carrying over any water or mud (the junk) from the riverbed (the past) - but on dry ground.
Also, you see that the Jordan overflowed its banks the whole time of harvest. Do you see what I see?? The Jordan, being your situation or circumstance, overflows during the whole time of harvest! When it looks like your situation can't get any worse and you're ready to quit and throw in the towel, DON'T! You are about ready to walk into your HARVEST!
1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying:
2 "Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe,
3 "and command them, saying, 'Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.' "
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe;
5 and Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, (Emphasis mine).
These men carried a weight upon their shoulders as they crossed the Jordan. The word "shoulder" is representative of "authority." Your going through is what builds your character so, as you come through your situation or circumstance and cross over to the other side - coming into a new level in your spiritual walk, you come over carrying a new weight of glory - a new authority in the spirit realm and you have the character to sustain it. For every situation and circumstance that you come through, from faith to faith and glory to glory - you come through with a greater weight of glory. Why? So others may ask you, "What do these stones mean to you?", they may see what God has done in your life. These are your stones of remembrance.
6 "that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?'
7 "Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. . . . .
21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What are these stones?'
22 "then you shall let your children know, saying, 'Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land';
23 "for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,
24 "that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever." [Emphasis mine].
The stones? Your testimony.