The Gift of Returning

Although Thanksgiving may not be celebrated in South Africa, Black Friday Sales are certainly advertised everywhere! Yes, December and all the festivities and shopping are already upon us. Yet, I want to take a moment to focus on the free gift Jesus gives us at any time of the year by what He demonstrated when He returned to the Jordan River.

Revisiting places of spiritual significance is a tangible gift we can reopen again and again. Surveying Scripture you will repeatedly see the Spirit of God calling His people to look back and take notice of how His sovereign hand saved, rescued, protected, disciplined and reminded them to look back to places of bountiful blessings.

Not only does this practice of returning refocus us to the faithful love of the Father, but it also helps strengthen our faith for what God is calling us to next. Recently I was reading John 10 and these verses jumped out at me in the life of Jesus:

“Once again they attempted to seize Him, but He escaped miraculously from their clutches. Then Jesus went back to the place where John had baptized Him at the crossing of the Jordan,” (39,40).

The Jewish leaders had picked up stones to kill Jesus, as their hearts were full of vicious hate for all the truth He spoke and demonstrated. And notice where Jesus escaped to, “the Jordan River” the place where He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the Father’s love to launch into ministry.

This was the same area where the Israelites 1500 years earlier miraculously walked through the river to enter into the promise land. No longer slaves but conquering sons and daughters. I believe Jesus went back to Jordan to remember His glorious baptism into the Father’s powerful love. The Jordan River gave Him strength for the path ahead to the cross.

Fresh from a battle with the religious leaders Jesus went back to the Jordan River to refocus on the Father’s amazing love for Him. His identity is wrapped up in the loving arms of His Abba. And as He sat by the flowing Jordan He was reminded of His anointed calling to crush the head of Satan by conquering death.

Just as Jesus went back to the Jordan River so too we need to go back to those places where the Father met us with His love. Last week was my spiritual birthday and I spent time writing in my journal about the supernatural love of the Father that rescued me that cold November 26 night.

Not only did I praise Him for His electing love calling me out of the darkness into His healing light. But also how I know I can trust His providential hand to carry me through the next season of His mission for me. What a gift!

Where is your Jordan River? When was the last time you went back to it? For some it maybe a favorite Bible verse the Holy Spirit used to awaken your heart to His love. For others perhaps a church service or retreat where anointed words from a speaker arrested your heart. Maybe you were walking in creation when you heard His still small voice call you to Himself.

Like Jesus we will face battles in this culture we are living in and it is vital that we go back to those spiritual places to be refocused and renewed in His victorious love.

In the busyness of the holiday, I encourage you to pause and take a moment to remember the gift of “Your Jordan River!”