“And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)”
It was time for Israel to make that final separation from Israel. God told Moses that they were to pass over Jordan so they could take the Promised Land. God made the statement in verse 13, “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” The only thing that was left to do was for God’s people to step out by faith and trust God’s Word to be correct.
The verse above shows us the act of faith when it says, “…the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water…” It was the leaders who showed the people that they had faith that God would divide the waters. All they had to do was dip their feet in the waters. The result of their faith is found in verse 17 when it says, “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” This verse shows that the people followed the faith of the priests. If the priests had not put their feet in the water, the people would have never experienced the fruit of the life of faith. A few lessons can be learned from this story.
First, you can’t expect followers to live a life of faith if the leaders don’t live a life of faith. Those you lead need to see that you are willing to put your feet in the water by faith before they decide to follow. Many leaders want their followers to live by faith as they sit in the background living a faithless life. A leader’s faith must always be displayed before the follower desires to follow.
Second, a leader’s faith will never grow if they are still tied to the world. The Jordan River was the final obstacle of separation from the world, and those who put their feet in the Jordan knew they would never go back to Egypt once they dipped their feet in the water. You will have a difficult time living the life of faith as a leader if you are still trying to enjoy the pleasures of the world. You can’t live a life of faith without a sole focus on God’s Word. If you are still looking to the world, you won’t have the faith to obey God’s Word and dip your feet into the waters of faith.
Third, the faith of the follower grows to the degree of a leader’s faith. Verse 17 says, “…and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground…” These people experienced the fruits of faith because the priest were willing to dip their feet into the water. Let me ask you, what fruit of faith have those who followed you experienced because of your faith. The followers of faith-filled leaders always experience the blessings of faith. If you are not willing to dip your feet into the waters of faith, your followers will never see the power of God in their life. If you don’t exercise your faith by dipping your feet into the waters of faith, your followers will never desire to live a life of faith.
When is the last time you dipped your feet into the waters of faith? There are people following you who will pass over the dry ground with you and become leaders of faith if you will obey God and step out by faith yourself.