When we last talked about setting our path, we mentioned it as a precursor to a journey. We wanted to emphasize that anything we do in God must be done thoughtfully and with our complete focus on what God wants from us and for us along the way. This planning tactic continues as we find ourselves in the midst of challenges on our journey as well. We used the summer vacation example last time. Let's revisit it.
Being prepared for a trip with the best route, the most up-to-date information on the weather and traffic situations are great. However, all of that can be done in an instant when you get stopped because of a 15 car pileup on the interstate or a freak storm washes out a bridge. What do you do when the way to your destination seems blocked by an insurmountable task? Do you sit in your car fuming that the trip is now ruined because of the delay? Do you turn around and give up? Or do you take out your map and check the best alternative routes? The same is true for walking with God.
You didn't expect to get fired from your job the week after you gave that big donation to missions because you too want to be a missionary some day. You don't expect to have a child born full term at 5 pounds and unable to keep his weight up all after you had fasted progressively for over a month for his mother's and his health and also saving up to become missionaries. Now doctor's bills would replace mission funding. You didn't expect your wife to start getting sick every time you were about to make headway in a Bible Study. These are extreme examples, all of which happened to me and my family.
In all three I had a choice to make. Do I give up on God or find a path forward in relationship with Him? Thankfully, all of these occurred while I was living for Him and I made the right decision. However, these occurrences seemed to derail my pursuits in God. I didn't see a path forward to what God wanted for me and my family. I needed to rethink God's plan for us and what avenues He had available to us.
In all of those situations, all happening within 2 years of each other, I remembered to turn to God. I couldn't solve those problems by myself and the Word, prayer and fasting leading up to those catastrophes had revealed just how powerful and wonderful God was and is. That faith provided me with a pathway to continue in my pursuit of God rather than quitting and turning back to just getting by in His Kingdom.
Thought for the day:
The right path sometimes produces adversity. How you respond to adversity will determine if the path stays right or stops dead
This faith building process reminded me of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea. They didn't intend to get stuck at the shore of the Red Sea. Most likely, they thought they were going to follow the banks of the water around it and into the Promised Land. However, they didn't count on the 15 car pileup that was Pharaoh's armies bearing down on them. Instead of pouting or lamenting about his situation-even though lots of Israelites did-Moses showed his faith in God:
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:13-14)
While this scripture would be great for tomorrow's lesson, too, it shows what happens when you have built a relationship with God. In the middle of a complaining people with the world's largest and most proficient military bearing down on him, Moses had faith. He showed the people what happens when you give yourself to God in every area of your life. We see later that God speaks directly to Moses and gives him the path to deliver not only himself but all of Israel. God made a way where they could see no path.
Whatever challenges we face on this Road to Pentecost, we can know that God is going to find us a path to take so we can realize our promise in Him. If you look back earlier in Exodus 14, you'll see that God was guiding Moses and Israel to those very banks. He was wanting to showcase His power and authority to them. To test and build their faith. The same is true for us today. While the enemy, temptation or just life may be responsible for the attacks we find ourselves under, God is looking to see if our use of the tools of fasting, prayer and the Word have built our faith in Him. If they have, He will not just respond, but He will do so in a clear way that reveals His true power to us. Moreover, He'll do so while also helping us to keep up our pursuit of our promise. On this Road To Pentecost, let your faith in God grow. Believe on Him and see what great works He does to reveal the path you never knew was there.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.