Guided by God

Opening Prayer

God, thank You for all that You have brought me through. Thank You for the journey: past, present and future.

Read Exodus 13:17–22

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Reflect

What are the significant points on your faith journey so far? What difficulties have you overcome? How has God guided you?

God knows his people and he knows best. He knows the future and, when he guided his people, he took them the best way, not the shortest route. It’s the same for us. There are many vital lessons to be learned along the way.
Joseph, the dreamer with the coat of many colors, knew first-hand that God’s ways are best. Even when his brothers betrayed him, he was able to say: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Gen. 50:20). He was confident that God would be faithful to his promises and would take the Israelites back to the Promised Land.
The Israelites had a visible pillar of cloud or fire to follow through the desert. For us, God’s guidance is rarely visible with our physical eyes, but we have been given the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. As Jesus promised: “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).

Apply

Write down your journey with God. Make it as detailed or as simple as you want. Find someone with whom to share your story.

Closing prayer

“Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer… I am weak, but Thou art mighty, Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand” (William Williams, 1719–1791).

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider