PRECISE NAVIGATION!

Today, we place a ton of trust in a global device to get from where we are to where we want to be, right?! I don’t even go across town without it because I am so directionally impaired!  However, our trust has been built in our vehicle’s navigational system over time.  When new on the market, we would sometimes be guided into places that were filled with construction dangers and detours. We carried a paper map as backup.  Sometimes the system would take us to the wrong place completely or end up on a dead-end street or alley!  But today the navigational process has improved and even warns us of dangers ahead with optional routes to take.  It even tells us where we can get fuel and food!  Impressive, right?

What if we had as much trust in God as our guide on the journey through life as we have in our man-made devices to get us where we really and truly need to be?

What if GOD was all you had?  (Like in the “old days”?)

Exodus 13, The Message

1-2 God spoke to Moses, saying, “Set apart every firstborn to me—the first one to come from the womb among the Israelites, whether person or animal, is mine.”

Moses said to the people, “Always remember this day. This is the day when you came out of Egypt from a house of slavery. God brought you out of here with a powerful hand. Don’t eat any raised bread.

4-5 “You are leaving in the spring month of Abib. When God brings you into the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he promised to your fathers to give you, a land lavish with milk and honey, you are to observe this service during this month:

“You are to eat unraised bread for seven days; on the seventh day there is a festival celebration to God.

“Only unraised bread is to be eaten for seven days. There is not to be a trace of anything fermented—no yeast anywhere.

“Tell your child on that day: ‘This is because of what God did for me when I came out of Egypt.’

9-10 “The day of observance will be like a sign on your hand, a memorial between your eyes, and the teaching of God in your mouth. It was with a powerful hand that God brought you out of Egypt. Follow these instructions at the set time, year after year after year.

11-13 “When God brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he promised you and your fathers, and turns it over to you, you are to set aside the first birth out of every womb to God. Every first birth from your livestock belongs to God. You can redeem every first birth of a donkey if you want to by substituting a lamb; if you decide not to redeem it, you must break its neck.

13-16 “Redeem every firstborn child among your sons. When the time comes and your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you tell him, ‘God brought us out of Egypt, out of a house of slavery, with a powerful hand. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, God killed every firstborn in Egypt, the firstborn of both humans and animals. That’s why I make a sacrifice for every first male birth from the womb to God and redeem every firstborn son.’ The observance functions like a sign on your hands or a symbol on the middle of your forehead: God brought us out of Egypt with a powerful hand.”

17 It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn’t lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, “If the people encounter war, they’ll change their minds and go back to Egypt.”

18 So God led the people on the wilderness road, looping around to the Red Sea. The Israelites left Egypt in military formation.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly swear to do it, saying, “God will surely hold you accountable, so make sure you bring my bones from here with you.”

20-22 They moved on from Succoth and then camped at Etham at the edge of the wilderness. God went ahead of them in a Pillar of Cloud during the day to guide them on the way, and at night in a Pillar of Fire to give them light; thus they could travel both day and night. The Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night never left the people.

WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?

My first thought is this:  The Israelites have been told where to work, what to do, where to live for over four hundred years!  They were not allowed to think for themselves.  They are now no longer slaves in bondage; they are free to think again!  Their mind muscles will need to be exercised again in this freedom.  So until then, God guides and provides.  God gathers his people, with Moses in the lead.  In an organized, “military-like” formation, God leads them through the wilderness instead of going the “faster route” for their own protection.  God KNOWS what lies ahead, He knows what is bests for us because He knows what we can endure or handle in our growth to reply solely on Him.  God is even better than Siri, our GPS!  I know!  Can you imagine?  God says to us daily, “TRUST ME, I’ve got this!”  But, do we?

GOD WANTS US TO REMEMBER what He has done so we will not fall back to our own smallness of self without Him.  Because of God’s mighty acts in protecting and redeeming His people and saving the firstborn of humans and livestock from death, all the firstborn belonged to God. They were sanctified, that is, set apart for God’s exclusive possession.  When a firstborn son was redeemed, or a firstborn animal, it gave adults the opportunity to explain how God had rescued the firstborn in the land of Goshen on Passover night.

NEW FREEDOM IS A LEARNING PROCESS!  It is a mark of maturity when we learn that freedom is a tool to build with, not a toy to play with, and that freedom involves accepting responsibility. Israel’s Exodus experience taught them that their future success lay in fulfilling three important responsibilities: following the Lord (vv. 17–22), trusting the Lord (Exodus 14:1–31), and praising the Lord (Exodus 15:12–21).

The person who trusts Jesus Christ is born again into the family of God, but that’s just the beginning of an exciting new adventure that should lead to growth. God liberates us and then leads us through the varied experiences of life, a day at a time, so that we might get to know Him better and claim by faith all that He wants us to have. At the same time, we come to know ourselves better; we discover our strengths and weaknesses, and we grow in understanding God’s will and trusting His promises.

GOD NEVER LEAVES US!  This passage leads us to an encouraging truth about our God; “The Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night never left the people.” 

Jesus reminded His disciples (and us) about this truth.  “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

Dear Friends, where God guides, God provides.  Always and forever.  I am proof of a life that learned through trial and error and I am still learning that God knows the best path, through all kinds of terrain and troubles, through good times and bad.  He is consistently teaching me on the journey and amazing me with His power, wisdom and love.  God knows me.  God knows what is best for me.  God knows what I need to do His will.  And through it all, I know God will not leave me. 

Let God navigate your journey!

Lord,

Thank for all you have done, are doing and will do on my brief journey on earth!  Thank you for teaching me, being patient with me while loving me unconditionally.  There is no like you!  Guide my every thought and action today.  I live with expectancy and hope with you!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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