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Dry Ground

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Dry Ground

One can pull many meanings out of the term “dry ground”, but we are not focusing today on a season of no rain.  We do go through those times, and it is imperative during that period that we remain close to God.  Our focus is rather on God’s dominion over the earth and the forces of nature, as we understand them.

Here is what Genesis 1:9 says: “And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.”  Focus in on this point: “And God said…and it was so.”  Say it…

The first time we see “dry ground” in scripture, God is speaking it.  We understand from the beginning of time that God ruled over everything that was and everything that was not.  With a word, he spoke all things into existence, and set order in the universe.  Whether we want to accept this or not, God is in control.  When Satan was cast from Heaven, he was given charge over the earth, but there are things he still does not have absolute authority over and those things must obey when Almighty God speaks.  Take a moment and thank Him.

But we, on the other hand, sometimes don’t understand the authority we have in Jesus Christ.  We have trouble identifying with who we are, until God opens our eyes.

Genesis 14:16-22 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”  19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.  21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

In the first instance of man dealing with the absolute authority of God over nature, specifically water and land, we see God bringing the Israelites to safety through the Red Sea.  Man alone was unable to deal with the fact that water stood before them.  But through the Spirit of God, they were able to cross the Red Sea, but not actually the sea, but on a seabed that was completely dry.  We see in this story that God’s leading for the first time moved in behind them, bringing darkness to the enemy and light to his children as he prepared them for a sea-crossing like never before had been recorded.  God is in control!!!

When we next see dry ground, Elijah has walked up to the banks of the Jordan River.  Read it in 2 Kings 2:8.  He walks up to the bank, rolls up his cloak, strikes the water, and he and Elisha walk across on dry ground.  Once again, we see man’s inability to conquer water one on one, but we see a glimpse of a prophet’s faith in God to bring himself and his companion to the other side.  Fifty men watched from a distance as this event occurred.  Elisha asked when they crossed over to receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Elijah said that was a difficult thing to ask, but if he saw Elijah taken to Heaven, that he would receive from God what he asked.  Elisha, as we know, witnessed the event, tore his clothes apart, thus removing himself from what he was, and took up Elijah’s cloak.  He walked back to the Jordan, struck the waters and walked across on dry ground.  From these two events, we can begin to see what faith in God can do.  He is willing and able to take away obstacles in your life and allow you to walk across where they were on unobstructed ground.  God is in control!!!

The next time I see man dealing with water is in Matthew chapter 14.

Matthew 14:22-29 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  25 During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  29 “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Previous times, we saw how God came through for man.  God miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan River for his children to walk across on dry ground.  The first time God caused a strong wind to separate the waters.  The second and third time there are no details to how the waters parted except that Elijah and Elisha both struck the water with their cloak.  The first time, God used nature to cause a miracle.  The second and third times we see man’s faith in God through action.

But this time!!!  Yes, Jesus was God in the flesh, Immanuel, God’s only Son.  But, God is a God of order, so we understand that human flesh must obey the laws of nature.  The only exception to the rule is faith.  When we walk in faith, we have the ability to do things beyond what we know through Jesus Christ and by God’s Spirit.  Zachariah 4:6 says it’s not by might, nor by power, but by God’s Spirit.  Jesus had just taught the people about his relationship with the Father, and life through him.  He just pointed the crowd to scriptures that gave testimony about who he was.  He just fed 5000 men, plus women and children, using five loaves and two fish.  Now, the Bible tells us that once he sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee.  After a time of prayer, at the 4th watch of the night (the final watch before dawn..darkest hour), and the Bible says Jesus walked across the Sea to them in the boat.  This defies logic, if you haven’t grasped this yet.  I did a little research on this subject.  It seems that the world, in all its intelligence, believes that Jesus actually walked across the Sea on patches of ice that formed on the waters.  My question is, how exactly could Jesus have accomplished firm footing on ice during a storm on the waters?  If, somehow, he miraculously could have secured his footing on ice through this, why could he not have just walked, as in fact he did, directly on the waters?

Through the power of God’s Spirit, Jesus did not decide to part the waters, which he could have done.  Jesus chose to show God’s actual power by walking atop the waters.  In faith, he acted through wind, waves and nature to come to the disciples.  And did you catch that Peter also walked out of the boat towards Jesus?

What I really want us to realize this morning is this: we can do ALL THINGS in Christ…through Christ.  All authority in Heaven and on earth was given to him and relayed to us by him.  We serve a God who can do anything he chooses, but who also gives us power through faith in Jesus Christ to defy the natural.  Our dry ground can and will come through what we believe in, regardless of what circumstances tell us.  We will see victories won and mountains topple if our focus is only on God.  God’s Holy Spirit will empower us if only we will allow him place in our lives.

Where are you today?  Are you searching after one man whom, in your eyes, hears from God?  You have to realize that when Jesus died, the veil that separated us from the very presence of God was torn, and now we all have direct access.  Are you relying on your covering to keep you from the things that stand directly in your path?  Remember that Jesus stated that it is not what is on the outside that makes a man clean, but what is on the inside that determines a person’s eternal preparedness.  We need to walk as Jesus did; in absolute trust in God to help us through anything He brings against us.  We must determine that faith in God far outweighs what we sense in this life.  We must decide that His will is greater than what we know.  Are you ready to walk on God’s dry ground, or are you going to eat your own dust for a little longer?

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