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.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle. Exodus 13:17-18
Shortcuts are seductive because they are appealing and inviting. Shortcuts caress our pride, stroke our ego, and garner immediate gratification. We sometimes seek shortcuts while driving, preparing for school exams, career advancement, marriage maturity, parenting skills, financial success, and spiritual development. Shortcuts are attractive to your clever side because you think that, with enough ingenuity and smarts, you can bypass the normal rite of passage. However, the downside of shortcuts is that their promise of a faster way may be short-circuiting God’s best. Just because it is easier does not qualify it as the will of God. In fact, ease of execution may be evidence against God’s will. Instead, a season of suffering may be His plan (1 Peter 4:19).
So, do not depend on circumstances alone as the compass of where God is leading you. You may feel pressure from people, pride, politics, or finances to take the most expedient route. But be careful because expedience can be an excuse for the impatient and the distrusting. If you miss this opportunity there will be others, for God is much bigger than this one deal. Do not underestimate His wisdom in taking you through this laborious and sometimes painful process. It will be worth the wait because it is the process that is preparing you for His next steps. If you rush through the process you may miss God’s best.
Many times, He is unconventional in His approach. This is the nature of God, for He will not be hemmed in or backed into a corner. Cut God some slack by giving Him the latitude to lead you however and wherever He desires. Just because a friend of yours went down a similar road does not mean you should follow. God’s will for you may be just the opposite. One thing is for sure: He will get the glory when you are patient to follow Him in trust and obedience. God’s glory is your goal (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Since the glory of God is your objective, keep God’s glory as your litmus test, and your other initiatives will take care of themselves. The shortcut is tempting, but it may be more complicated than you can comprehend for now. Its complexity will certainly compound if you have to backtrack from the shortcut and start all over again. It is much better to wait and do this once and for all. There will certainly be adjustments along the way, but have faith in God that He is facilitating His will even if some of your questions remain unanswered. He’s got your back even though the enemy may be breathing down your neck and whispering words of doubt. God is in control. It is much better to take the longer route with God than the shorter one without Him.
Travel instead, on the proven path of Providence. Faith in Christ rejects seductive shortcuts.
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© 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.