If someone came to you right now and said ‘follow me’, you would have to choose to follow or not. What would you base it on? You likely don’t just follow anyone, but only people worth following, at least to you.
It is important to know you are not alone in life, that there are people to help lead the way. Most importantly is our God who never leaves us. When it comes to our lives we might feel like we are alone, but the truth is we are not. God leads us, if we are willing to follow, which takes commitment. Following is active.
We see from the Bible that God’s plans are worth following. We can jump in without reservation and fully trust Him, even if the current path might not make sense to us.
The story of the Israelites in Exodus was like that. They did not fully understand where they were going and why they were going on the path they were on. Why are God’s plans worth following?
Short and easy is not always the best.
We live in a fast-paced society. You want it and you buy it now. This is why we have such a debt problem in this country. Short and easy isn’t always the best.
Pharaoh, after many plagues, had finally let the Israelites go, but they did not go the direct route. Why?
Well, for one, There is more going on then they know. — God knew both their hearts and he knew the path. God knew that they would experience war if they went the short path and that when they did experience this war they would turn back. They would willingly go back to slavery in order to escape the war. God took them on a different path, a path that wold take them way out-of-the-way, but a path that would keep them safe and on track.
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ” If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” – Exodus 13:17
Shortcuts are not always the best path when it comes to doing things God’s way. Sometimes the apparent detours don’t make sense. God has a plan which includes more than we know. That is why we trust. We don’t have the whole picture in our mind. We can’t see the beginning and the end at the same time. We can follow the God who does.
They also took this path because – Freedom means staying the course —
If they really wanted to be free, they needed to stay on course. If they go way out-of-the-way, they will be less likely to go back to Egypt when things get tough. You can relate this to some of the challenges you might face like: illnesses, doubt, confusion, family tensions, and friends who back stab you. All of these things, among many others, can be navigated when you follow God’s lead in them and not your own. Then when the dust settles and things get better you are farther along in faith then you were when you started. This makes it more likely you will say, “I am never going back again.”.
Freedom from sin and not getting all tangled up in doubts, pressures and feelings of inadequacy means staying the course, following God, and listening to what He says in His Word about you.
God actively leads — He never leaves us
God didn’t just throw them out into the desert with a slap on the back. He led them in an active fashion. He lit the way at night and provided a cloud during the day.
“By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” – Exodus 13:21
God gives them a direction they can follow — If you have ever been lost in the woods before you know how easy it can be to get disoriented. You might even run around in circles without even realizing it. God gives them specific direction.
He does the same for us. Many people are more willing to listen to music or watch television instead of actually asking God to lead. If you have a Bible, open it and read it.
God provides a presence they can see — The cloud and the light could not be missed. Some of you would say, sure it is easy for them to follow God; they could see Him. What about me? I don’t see God. My question for you is, “do you ask Him to show Himself to you?” Do you ask Him to lead you? Do you ever even wonder where He is? You will not see Him if you aren’t looking. He has never left.
Are you following the right leader? There is no need for fear if it is God who leads you!