Athlete, Get Your Feet Wet


Athlete, Get Your Feet Wet

Morris Michalski

Joshua 3:15-16 (NIV)

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

All-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky is known for saying this: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.“ 

Michael Jordan is known for this striking quote: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.“

And FYI, Kobe Bryant missed 14,481 in his NBA career, the most in NBA history. 

What’s the point of these three entries? Bold faith, fearless living, and complete obedience to what you’re called to do are keys to life. 

God’s been teaching this to people for thousands of years. And it hasn’t stopped. It’s His way. 

BOLD FAITH: As Joshua 3 opens, the nation of Israel is finally approaching the Promised Land, a really good final destination for millions of God’s people. It was finally close after 40 years of wandering in the desert. 

Just a river at flood stage stood between them and their “championship.” But they had no boats and no one knew how to swim. 

Joshua told the people to get the Ark of the Covenant, the very symbol of God‘s presence, moving out in front of them, headed to the goal. And they were to carefully follow it no matter what. It was “go time.” And the people did … by faith. 

FEARLESS LIVING: At some point, the nation had to face the river if they were going to receive what God had promised. It had to be faced and crossed. 

It didn’t matter whether the people knew how to swim or make boats. What mattered was that they properly feared God, not their circumstance. 

An absolute, proper fear of God casts out all other fears. It renders us fearless regarding everything else in life we might face. Indeed, God makes people fearless (2 Timothy 1:7).

COMPLETE OBEDIENCE: Joshua didn’t tell the priests who carried the ark to stand at the water’s edge and wait until it suited them to hop in, until the river receded, until God (or someone else) moved the waters for them. 

He told them to step in. It was no time for getting “wet feet.” It was time for getting their feet wet in complete, surrendered obedience. 

When the feet got wet, the waters parted. Nothing happened until that moment. The river parted so well that all the people passed through on dry ground. And the Promised Land became theirs in increasing measure. 

Surrender to God often marks the time when faith becomes sight. And nothing special happens until our obedience becomes complete. That’s when waters part. God loves to reward faith and obedience, not just produce it in us. It’s His way (Hebrews 11:6).

Reflect: Is your faith bold? Are you living fearlessly? Is your obedience complete? What one bold, fearless, surrendered step would God have you take today, right now?

A prayer to consider: LORD, You are my wise King, good Master, and powerful Savior-Friend. What is it that You would have me face and cross this day? Help me to get my feet wet.

I want to trust You with hard things and receive all that You’ve promised. So launch me out into scary unknowns with bold faith and fearless, surrendered, complete obedience to You. Just like Jesus. Amen.


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