Follow the Pillar

Peyton Johnston

August 12th, 2018

Exodus 13:17-22

Have you ever been in a hurry to make it somewhere, but when you get in your car and start to drive you realize you have NO idea how to get there? #Relatable. Thank the Lord for the invention of the GPS, am I right??

But sometimes, even the intelligence of Siri and Google Maps can fail us. A trip that we know should only take us 15 minutes, somehow ends up taking 30 because of the obscure route we’re given. And as much as we’d like to be upset with our phone and toss it out the window for not taking us on the shortcut we wanted, deep down we know we would be utterly lost without its guidance. We may get there later than we wanted to, but we’d much rather take the long route than never arrive at all.

What we don’t see is the traffic jam that the GPS is trying to get us to avoid. Or the fallen tree blocking the entire main road that it’s rerouting us around. Just because our smart phone doesn’t tell us why we are taking the scenic route, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a purpose behind it’s direction. The longer, more difficult path is often the one keeping us from harm and getting us there in the most efficient way.

God had finally set the Israelites free from Pharaoh’s cruel oppression, and they were anxious to get to their Promised Land. But the Lord didn’t take them through the short and easy path like they thought He would. Instead, He led them with a pillar of cloud and fire into the rugged wilderness on a journey which seemed unnecessarily long. Why couldn’t they take the shortcut on the marked road? Because God saw the struggles they would face there. He wanted to save them from battling the ruthless Philistines that would leave their bodies wounded and their spirits discouraged. He could foresee that they would be so wrecked by the battles on the easier path that they would turn away from their promise and back into bondage. He loved them too much to let them do that.

So maybe you feel like you’ve been following God’s direction, but it’s taking you longer to reach your promise than you thought it would. Before you decide to throw out God’s plan and take your own way, just remember that the right path is typically not the easiest one. It’ll take you through seemingly unnecessary, laborious roads. You’ll get frustrated. You won’t always understand. But without God’s perfect direction, we would be totally lost and overcome with battles we were never meant to face. So you can follow the easy route and run into trouble that has the power to deter you from attaining everything God has for you. Or you can follow the pillar into the wilderness and trust that His purpose is keeping you and leading you to greater things. Don’t despise the distance. Realize that the journey is a help, not a hindrance. And it’s better to go the long way and be whole, than to never arrive at all.

Pray: ​“Lord, thank You for the promises You’ve given me. No matter what direction You lead me in, I will trust that You are directing me to my promise in the best way. I won’t resist Your guidance, or turn away when You take me through the wilderness. I know that You are always protecting me from struggles I can’t see, and will always sufficiently provide for me.”