The Long Way

God orchestrated the Israelites escape from Egypt because He had a Promise Land prepared for them. But to enter the Promise Land He had them travel through the desert. The desert wasn’t the shortest route. The Israelites could have traveled by the road; however they would have faced opposition and war from their enemies. God knew what was best for them. He always knows what’s best. He may send us on a path that doesn’t make sense to us, but we need to have the faith to know that He is protecting us from something so that we can get to the place He has prepared for us.

Along the way through the desert, the Israelites began to backslide. They murmured, complained and lost faith in the God that parted the Red Sea and swallowed up their enemy. As a result, He made them wander in the desert for 40 years until the entire first generation died off except the only two men who did have faith, Joshua and Caleb. During those 40 years in the desert, God continued to provide for them. He performed the longest running miracle in history by dropping bread from Heaven for them every day for 40 years (except on Sundays in which He provided a double portion on Saturday to make up for it). He did this because in spite of their lack of faith He still loved them and if He didn’t do it, they would have starved. They were in the desert. Nothing grows in the desert.

God has places that He wants us to go. But sometimes He doesn’t give us an express ticket. He sends us the long way because there are things on the journey that He wants us to learn so that we can be mature and wise enough to appreciate the promise land. This desert can endure for 40 years or 40 days. Much depends on our faith; on our decisions, our attitudes; how we handle the adversity. As His children wandering through this desert, He will still provide for our needs. He will send manna because without it we would starve.

This manna will fill us, but it shouldn’t fulfill us.

It may become a temptation to stop striving for the promise land, because the manna is good and it’s easy. It comes without effort. It comes without any faith. Complacency sets in. We choose bread when milk and honey are just on the other side of the river. God wants us to enter the promise land. He sustains us with manna so that we can get there. However, He wants us to enter with faith. Faith requires action. It’s more than waking each day and picking up the crumbs that are on the ground. It is that and a whole lot more.

It’s being grateful for the manna as your provision today that supplies you the energy to plan and fight for a better tomorrow.

Don’t get comfortable in the desert. Fight the good fight of faith for your promise land.

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