The original purpose of God was that the whole kingdom of Israel should be a kingdom of overcomers.
As we have seen earlier after the golden calf was made and worshipped, only the Levites paid the price of continuing as overcomers and therefore the kingdom of overcomers became the tribe of overcomers.
At the crucial point of crossing the Jordan and entering the Promised Land, there was a crucial ministry which only the overcomers could carry out. It had to do with the ark of the Lord.
In the final preparation for crossing the Jordan, Joshua gave the following instructions to the children of Israel,
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall go for you have not passed this way before. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, a distance of about two thousand cubits; do not come near it” (Joshua 3:3-4).
Here we see something about the overcomers that did not come through in our earlier study of them.
First of all, they walk in close proximity to the Lord in a way that the others do not. They actually carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Those who pay a special price have the privilege of walking in closest fellowship with the Lord as others are not able to do. It is their reward for paying the extra price.
Secondly, the Lord shows things to the overcomers that He does not necessarily reveal to others. In the case at hand, although none of the Israelites had ever passed that way before, the Levites who bore the ark knew the way while the other Israelites did not. Those who pay the special price of costly obedience to the Lord are granted a special knowledge of the will of God and the ways of God that the other believers do not seem to possess.
Thirdly, the overcomers lead the others. Those who bore the ark had to go ahead and then the others had to follow. Those who are appointed by God to leadership are those who pay the extra price and therefore, they can go ahead and others will follow after them. There is no other way of being appointed by God to leadership. Boards may appoint the tallest or the most talented individual to leadership. That is their business. God does not recognize such leadership; for He appoints only those who pay the greatest price.
Fourthly, there is a God-instituted gap between the overcomers and the others that no one can take away. Joshua told the children of Israel that they should allow a distance between the ark-bearers and themselves. As we know, these ark-bearers were Levites and represented the whole tribe that had paid the price. When you meet someone who has paid the price and made progress through paying the price with God, you will feel that something separates you from him. He may hold you. He may play with you but you feel the gap. Something in him that you cannot pinpoint tells you that you are before your spiritual superior. You may be older than that one. You may be more talented than him. You may dislike him and do all you can to minimize him, but when you stand before him, you sense something that separates you from him; something that makes you feel ill at ease. You may even react to this by showing him his faults and trying to convince yourself and him that he is not different from all the other believers, but try as you may, you will always know that a gap exists between him and you; a gap that results from the fact that he knows something of God and carries something of God that you neither know nor carry. This is the God-instituted gap between the overcomers and the rest of the believers.