Fuel for Your Journey

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


Trusting God's Lead

When we’re traveling, most of us opt for direct routes. We type the destination address into our phone map and choose the fastest option. The same principle goes for our personal lives. When we want something, whether it’s a job, a relationship, or a social position, we don’t like waiting for it. We have dreams and aspirations that we’re sure are good things. We’re confused when God doesn’t allow us to get there right away, when he allows roadblocks to get in the way, or when he leads us along a different path altogether. 

The Israelites are on a journey of their own, out of their slavery in Egypt, and God actually leads them along an indirect and at first glance, very inconvenient path. The Israelites are headed toward the Promised Land, which is North of Egypt. However, God doesn’t opt for the direct route. God takes Israel South. Is God leading them off track?

God leads the people along the indirect route because he knows the other way would be too challenging. Along the direct route, Israel would have had to come in contact with and fight against the Philistines, and God knows the Israelite people are not ready to see war. God knows their weakness. He knows they are not ready for this right after leaving Egypt. The people of Israel need time to develop their character and spiritual maturity. They need time to learn to trust God. So, God leads Israel South, straight to the bank of the Red Sea. God is going to use their miraculous crossing at the Red Sea to develop their faith and trust in him. 

Just like the Israelites, God’s Holy Spirit may lead us on along indirect routes as well; but, just as he did with the Israelites, God does so for our good! God knows what we need, and he leads us out of love. He knows the spiritual maturity we need to develop before we make it to the destination, and these indirect routes are often the means of spiritual maturation!

We can find hope and encouragement amidst disorientating times by remembering that God’s direction is always determined by an understanding of our needs and a pursuit of his glory. Trust in his wise and loving lead.