“And they commanded the people, saying, when you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, and the Levites bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 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. And Joshua said to the people, ‘sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.'” – Joshua 3:3-5
Joshua has now taken over for Moses and was leading the people across the Jordan river. They were led by the ark that carried God’s word. Just like today, God directs us by His word in the Bible and we follow it.
Joshua gives some interesting instructions here. He tells them not to go near it and to stay back about 3,000 feet. As a Christ follower, you may be thinking, “aren’t we supposed to be walking right alongside of God?” In this picture, it was essential for 3,000 feet of distance so that the largest number of people could see God and where He was leading.
Have you ever been driving behind someone so closely that you do not see what is up ahead? All you see is the car in front of you, not the ultimate destination or road before you. You are following so closely to others that your line of sight is blocked and others following closely behind you cannot see either. It is the same concept here. Joshua was telling the people to stay out of the line of sight of others.
As we follow Jesus, do people see Jesus through our lives or do they just see us? Are we in their line of sight? Are we staying back by dying to self so all they see is Jesus? Are we “decreasing so He can increase?” Are we giving them enough space so they can see where He is leading them?
May we examine our lives today and ensure we are lifting His name up rather than our own. If we stand back and let others see Jesus, maybe they will see where He is leading them and just maybe many will accept Him into their hearts!