When God is Your Guide
A devotional by Glynis Becker
“And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night.”
–Exodus 13:21 (NASB)
I’m old enough to remember road trips taken with the help of a giant Rand McNally map, conveniently located in the large pocket on the back of the passenger’s seat. Every once in a while, Dad would have one of us kids grab the map, maneuver it over the seatback to Mom without hitting anyone in the head and have her figure out where we needed to turn or stop or simply ensure we were still on the right path.
I was not born with a great sense of direction and I’m not a particularly good navigator, even when I’m using a map. The emergence of navigation software has been a lifeline to me. I easily admit that I use it sometimes when I drive, even in a town I’ve lived in for more than thirty years. I need to know how to get where I want to go and I like that I don’t have to do all the work to think about the best way to get there.
One of the Bible’s most important stories is the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Sometimes we have a laugh at the expense of those Israelites in the desert, don’t we? I’ve seen cartoons with punchlines about how it was Moses’s wife who must have wanted to ask for directions and he refused, or the Israelites using an app that kept telling them to “re-route.” Those are funny, but the truth is there are a lot of lessons for all of us to learn in the wandering.
One thing we need to remember is to keep our eyes on Jesus. The Israelites were given a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them in their travels. We may not have such physically visible guides in our lives today, but we have the Holy Spirit inside us to keep us on track. If we are conscious of listening to His promptings, take time for Bible study and worship, and intentionally pray for guidance, we will know which way to go.
Secondly, we always need to be on the lookout for milestones and divine interruptions. God knew exactly what He was doing when He led His people to Rephidim and there was no water (Exodus 17:1-7). By sending them to this place, when He might have led them somewhere else, He showed them His provision through the water He caused to pour from the rock. In that same chapter, the Israelites went to battle against the Amalekites. Through Moses and Joshua’s resolve and reliance on God, the Israelites won the battle and God proved in a visible way how He would fight for them and take care of them as they moved into the Promised Land.
In the New Testament, we see the same sort of interruptions. In John 4, Jesus and His disciples, who could have traveled from Judea to Galilee another way, decided to go through Samaria. That was no accident. How else would we have known about that beautiful moment when Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman and reveals Himself as the Messiah? What would that woman or the disciples have missed if Jesus had taken them on a more straightforward route instead?
We need to remember that instead of a map, we have a Guide (God) who doesn’t need a map to direct us to our ultimate destination (Heaven). We have a loving God who knows exactly where we need to go and when. He will set up roadblocks when we need them, and make straight paths when we need those, too. Maybe, when we think we’re wandering, Jesus is simply maneuvering us right where we need to be.
Let’s Pray: Dear God, my Guide, please help me to keep my eyes focused on You. Help me not be afraid or anxious when I don’t know where You’re taking me. Keep me close to You so that I won’t wander off the path you have set before me. You are good and have good things in store for me. I praise You for all You are. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Note from Alexis: Glynis Becker’s devotional message today reminds me of “Thy Word” (song) by Amy Grant. Listen to it here.
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.
She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.
Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.
When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.
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