by Pastor Kayode Fanilola
Used by permission
I have preached many sermons in which River Jordan featured prominently. I also know that river Jordan signifies different things to different people. However, my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel, especially my baptism in river Jordan has illuminated my spirit about the significance of River Jordan in the scheme and plan of God not only for the children of Israel but for humanity in general. What I intend to do is to examine the significance of this miracle river.
But before I start, let me talk briefly about the geography of this river. To start with, river Jordan is not as big as its fame. I was expecting a significantly huge river but what I saw was below my expectation. Three small rivers- Basnias, Snir, and Dan unite into one river and flow through the plain of Hula valley and became known as river Jordan. From here, it flows into the Sea of Galilee. It also flows out of the Sea of Galilee and ends up in the Dead Sea.. It can be said that River Jordan is the source of Sea of Galilee and also that of Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is full of living things; both plant and animal; but the Dead Sea is devoid of any living thing. Neither animals nor plants can survive in the Dead Sea because of the heavy deposit of salt. That is why the Dead Sea is also called the Sea of Salt.
The first significant thing about River Jordan is that this was where the ministry of Jesus started. It was where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Immediately after His baptism, heaven opened up and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove and rested upon Jesus. It was after this that a voice came from heaven acknowledging the sonship of Jesus.
What I am saying is that River Jordan is a place of open heaven. It is also a place where the Holy Spirit came upon man to do divine work. River Jordan is also a satellite station to hear the divine signal from heaven. The voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” River Jordan is a place where the old man is certified dead and buried and where the new man was born. River Jordan is part of God’s redemption package for mankind. The principle of baptism, which we now practice as a public symbol of our new life in Christ, started from River Jordan.
If you are reading this article and you have not been born again, you must repent and forsake all your sins. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then you must be baptized. If you do this genuinely, heaven must open for you and you will clearly hear the heavenly signal that will make it easy for you to walk according to divine direction.
River Jordan is the last major obstacle that the children of Israel would encounter before they entered the Promised Land. Crossing River Jordan is like crossing the land of bondage to the land of freedom. Crossing River Jordan is a symbol of victory and deliverance. Crossing River Jordan is saying good-bye to slavery and hardship. Crossing River Jordan is the final trip from the land of promise to the land of fulfillment. If you have not got to the River Jordan of your life, there is little to rejoice about.
But crossing River Jordan could be a difficult task even if it is not a very big river. Don’t forget that a small problem could be the cause of a big headache and serious embarrassment. Until the small problem is removed, the big headache and embarrassment will remain. Your power and wisdom are not enough to cross the River Jordan of your life. You will need the divine intervention of God to cross it. Without the miracle of God at your River Jordan, you will be frustrated. The children of Israel had seen the miracle of God in the past when He parted the Red Sea in two, yet they still felt frustrated when they got to River Jordan.
Just at the point of their frustration, the Lord showed up for the Children of Israel. God told Joshua that just as He was with Moses so He would be with him. In Joshua 3:7, God said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you great in the eyes of all the Israelites. Now they will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses” Also in verses 10 and 11, the Lord told Joshua, “Today, you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. Think of it! The Ark of Covenant which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth will lead you across the Jordan river.”
Now I prophesy to you in the name of Jesus Christ that the Lord will show up for you at the River Jordan of your life. The Lord will begin to make you great in the eyes of all people just as He made Joshua great. The Holy Spirit of God will lead you across the River Jordan of your life and the Lord will surely drive out all your enemies before your very eyes and turn all their possessions to you.
Another significant aspect of River Jordan I want to talk about is that River Jordan is a place of recovery. In 2 Kings Chapter 6, when the people who were with Elisha were planning to expand their tent, they went to River Jordan to cut logs of wood to build their tent. But in the process, the iron ax head of one of the servants fell into River Jordan. He came crying to Elisha that the iron ax was borrowed and that he could not go back to the owner without it. Elisha asked him the exact spot where the ax fell. Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the exact spot in River Jordan and immediately the iron ax was magnetized to the surface of the river by the stick and floated on the water. Then Elisha commanded the man to pick up the iron ax. What happened was against any known scientific law.
At the River Jordan of your life, it is possible that the tool you need for expansion will fall in to the river. This is the reason why many people stagnate at the River Jordan of their life. The goal of the devil is to snatch the tool for enlargement or expansion from us because he knows that once he succeeds in doing that, we will get stuck. But thank God that He will always show up for His people whenever they get to the River Jordan of their life.
But there is a lesson here to learn. Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the river. You must thrown in something, no matter how little or insignificant, to really bring your miracle to the surface. It may be your prayer or an offering that you need to throw in. It may be your service in the house of God. It may be helping out in community outreach programs. Remember; nothing ventured, nothing gained. The ax did not just come to the surface. Something was thrown into the river.
Now I prophesy to your situation in the name of Jesus that every tool of expansion that the devil has snatched away from you will be recovered. All your blessings and virtue that the enemy has buried in the ocean will surely come back to the surface and you will pick them up in the name of Jesus. Your breakthrough that the enemy has buried under the Iroko tree will come back to the surface in the name of Jesus. Maybe you are now at the River Jordan of your life and it seems that you have lost everything you need to make it in life. As a servant of the Most High, I say fear not because River Jordan is also a place of recovery. You will recover all because this is your season of recovery. But consider what you must throw in.
TEXT: And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood to view afar off and they two stood by River Jordan (2 Kings 2:7).
When Elijah and Elisha got to River Jordan, it was at the peak of the raining season when the river was overflowing its bank. Then the fifty men of the sons of the prophets stood afar off and watch them how they will cross over River Jordan to the other side. Fifty men watched from the distance to mock Elijah and Elisha. They thought that the River Jordan was the end of the road for Elijah and Elisha. They were waiting to rejoice and celebrate their frustration and failure.
But a special type of miracle happened, which I called Silencer Miracle.
This is the type of miracle that silences the enemy.
Elijah took his mantle and struck River Jordan, the river parted into two and they walked through the river to the other side.
After God took Elijah into heaven in the chariot of fire, Elisha returned to the river from the other side. He got to River Jordan and struck the river with the mantle that he took from the body of Elijah. The river parted into two and he walked through again. As soon as he walked through, all the fifty men of the sons of the prophets came to bow before Elisha to acknowledge that the spirit of Elijah had come upon him (2 Kings 2:15).
When you get to the River Jordan of your life, you will not have many close friends. Friends and relatives will move away from you and will prefer to stand and watch you from a distance. They will stay aloof and wait to see and celebrate your failure and downfall. Many will be waiting to hear your obituary on the radio or television or to read your obituary in the newspaper.
But I prophesy to you today that a Silencer Miracle will happen to you at your River Jordan and you will see it with your own eyes. All the people who once mocked you will come back to bow before you. All those people who are looking down upon you will come to look up to you. All those people waiting to hear or read your obituary will receive your invitation that you are doing Special Thanksgiving in your church. This is how it’s going to be for you in Jesus’ name.
TEXT: And so it was when they have crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so. (2 Kings 2:9-10)
Elisha had been following Elijah from Gilgal to Bethel and from Bethel to Jericho and finally from Jericho to River Jordan. All this while, Elijah did not tell Elisha to ask him whatever he wants him to do for him. But as soon as they crossed over River Jordan, Elijah told Elisha to ask whatever he wants from him before he would be taken away from him. Until you have crossed the River Jordan of life, God might not entrust you with certain spiritual gifts or blessing because you may still lack the maturity to handle them. It takes endurance to get maturity. Crossing River Jordan takes endurance, but once you have crossed River Jordan, your maturity is authentic. At this point, God can give you the liberty to ask for what you want from Him.
The other side of River Jordan is a place of reward for endurance and faithful discipleship. Elisha faithfully served Elijah and was faithfully rewarded after they had both crossed River Jordan. Elisha asked for the double portion of the Spirit of Elijah. He asked for a big thing. Even though Elijah said that Elisha had asked for a hard thing Elisha did not scale down his request. He insisted on his request and he got it. No wonder God performed seven miracles through Elijah while He performed fourteen miracles through Elisha. The other side of River Jordan is a place of double portion blessing. If you can endure and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you across the River Jordan of your life, a double portion blessing awaits you.
However, the other side of River Jordan is a place to be focused. You must concentrate and be alert. It is a place of high sensitivity. After crossing the River Jordan of life, you cannot afford to give room for distraction. Distraction could be costly and disastrous because this is where devil lays ambush for many people who have successfully crossed over the River Jordan of life. In the process of celebrating the victory of crossing over, they lose focus and get easily distracted. Distraction will rob you of the full benefits of crossing your River Jordan. That is why Elijah told Elisha that even though he had asked for a hard thing, he would get it if he could see him when he would be taken from him. God rewarded Elisha only after he showed his endurance and lack of distraction by following Elijah wherever he went.
I pray for you today that the Lord will empower you to cross over the River Jordan of your life and that no demonic distraction will prosper against you. The double portion blessing of River Jordan shall be your portion. Say Amen!
TEXT: And Joshua said unto them, “Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what mean ye by these stones. Then ye shall answer them, that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and this stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever (Joshua 4: 5-7).
God placed great importance to the crossing of River Jordan by the children of Israel.
God commanded Joshua to instruct the children of Israel that each tribe must take a stone from the bottom of River Jordan while walking across it. God gave this commandment so that they may have an everlasting testimony for future generations.
The inference from the above is that River Jordan is a place of everlasting testimony.
God did not attach greater importance to the crossing of the Red Sea in the sense that He did not command Israel to take anything out of the sea for a memorial.
Remember that the crossing of the Red Sea is only a part of the greater Passover story that is celebrated and remembered every year during the Passover meal. It is celebrated throughout the world no matter in what circumstances the people find themselves. On the other hand, the memorial for the crossing of the River Jordan can only be found at the point the crossing took place.
This implies that God is committed to remind you from past examples that he is able to bring you across the River Jordan of your life. It is at this crossing point that God needs to remind us of what He is able to do for us. You are at this River because God wants to give you to be an everlasting testimony. I am talking about a testimony that the generations that follow after you will use as a reference point and a point of contact.
You may be going through a situation that everybody has described as hopeless. This is what the Lord has commanded me to tell you. The Lord says that He is committed to your victory and that He is ready to give you an everlasting testimony.
TEXT: So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was cleaned (2 Kings 5:14).
Perhaps the most significant aspect of River Jordan is its healing virtue. Naaman, the Syrian General was a leper. He was an accomplished war General who also was a leper. This leprosy was a big reproach in his life. His social and political connection could not remove this reproach One day his housemaid who happened to be an Israelite advised him to see a prophet in Israel.
When he left for Israel his friends and relatives and even his professional colleagues waved good-bye to a leper. Probably the only person expecting him to be healed was his maid. They must have concluded that this trip would be another fruitless effort.
And when he got to Israel, his ego was assaulted. Not only did he think that the prophet Elisha treated him arrogantly, but he was also told to go and bathe seven times in a river he had no respect for. But for his housemaid, he would have missed his miracle because of the poor opinion he held of the River Jordan.
Thankfully he put his ego and status aside and bathed in the dirty waters of River Jordan seven times and came out completely healed with a skin as fresh as that of a newborn baby. All those who saw him off to Israel as a leper welcomed him back with that fresh new skin.
The River Jordan of life will bruise your ego, test your integrity and tear down your status and reputation. Many will see you on the way to the River Jordan of life and conclude that you are finished. Some will shake their heads and cry for you. Some will mock and laugh at you. But what they don’t know is that River Jordan is a miracle river that specializes in removing reproach. Inside River Jordan, shame is turned to fame and groaning is turned to glory.
I prophesy to your situation that you will come out of whatever that is representing River Jordan in your life with multiple miracles. Every embarrassing reproach and blemish in your life will dissolve in that river. Your shame will turn to fame and your groaning will transform to glory.