'When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.'

(Exodus 13:17-18) 

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Thoughts to Ponder

In the Exodus passage, God gives us insight into His thoughts regarding why He sent the Israelites the roundabout way through the wilderness to get to the Promised Land, rather than travel the shortest way through the Philistine territory. He led them towards a seemingly dead end and a negative outcome...the Red Sea. The Israelites did not know God's plan or reason for this route, but they followed His lead, even though the journey was long and ultimately seemed impossible.  God spared them discouragement that would have resulted in them turning back to Egypt and returning to slavery.

If you are currently in a wilderness after obeying God, trust that He did not lead you there to discourage, leave nor destroy you.   If you are in a wilderness because of your disobedience, confess, repent, then know that God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. As children of God, we cannot lose!  

God is always guiding and directing us in life.  Obedience is our choice. We must not only trust Him when the road is straight and easy but especially when the journey is filled with detours and difficulties. God will never leave, nor forsake us.  There is purpose in the wilderness. 

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Today's Challenge

Praise God for allowing you to enter your current or past wilderness.  Reflect on the lessons you learned or are learning in the wilderness.  How can you be an encouragement to others while in their wilderness?