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Upstream Faith
By Joel Osteen - Aug 18, 2023

In Joshua 3, two million Israelites were waiting to cross the flooded Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. But the Jordan’s strong current was overflowing its banks, nearly a mile across. There was no way to cross. God told Joshua to tell the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of God, and to walk into the river. The Israelites were watching with great anticipation, believing that the waters were going to miraculously part as the Red Sea had forty years before. But when their feet touched the water, nothing happened. Everything looked just the same.

What do you do when you’ve prayed and believed, but you don’t see anything happening? Your health isn’t improving, your child isn’t turning around, you haven’t met the right person. That’s where Joshua was. He could’ve thought, “God, why isn’t it parting? I did what You said.” But what you can’t see is that God is working upstream. He says, “I will go ahead of you and make crooked places straight” (Isaiah 45:2). The moment you prayed, He set the miracle into motion. He lined up the healing, the right person, the breaks you need. Now, the key is that you stay in faith until those upstream blessings make it down to you. If you’re going to see upstream blessings, you have to have upstream faith.

The Scripture says, “The moment the feet of the priests touched the water at the river’s edge, the water begin piling up at a town upstream called Adam” (Joshua 3:15–16). The miracle had happened twenty miles upstream; they just couldn’t see it yet. God had stopped the flow, and it was just a matter of time before the Israelites would see the effects of what God had already done upstream. The priests stood waiting in the water, and I can imagine the people’s disappointment after a couple of hours, thinking they were stuck. But finally the water flow dropped, and the whole riverbed was dry. The Israelites were able to walk across.

Like with them, there are things God has done in your life upstream. He’s already taken care of what you’re worried about. He’s already dammed up those waters, stopped the sickness, broken the addiction, lined up the right person. You may not be able to see it yet, all the circumstances look just the same, but don’t let what’s happening downstream talk you out of what God has done upstream. If you’re going to see upstream blessings, keep believing, keep praising, keep expecting. Walk by faith and not by sight. Those waters are about to recede. What you’ve been praying about is on the way.

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