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January 14, 2019

GOD FIRST: Hidden Pathways

“I hear the Lord saying, ‘I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with My eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make Me tug you and pull you along. Just come with Me!’” Psalm 32:8-9 (TPT)

Spiritual guidance is often a divine mystery! Paul described it like trying to see through a fog or a cloud in 1 Corinthians 13:12.

“Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

It’s not always crystal clear this side of heaven. Despite how much we would like for God’s guidance to be as easy to follow as a GPS, He often takes us down hidden paths. In recalling how God led Israel out of Egypt, one of the Psalm writers, Asaph, said,

“Your road led through the sea, Your pathway through mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there!” Psalm 77:19 (NLT)

I love the exclamation point at the end of that statement. Imagine being one of those Israelites, fleeing from Egypt after being enslaved over 400 years.  You’re part of the millions that escape, and you come to the Red Sea following Moses – who claimed to be following God’s guidance. Then, you find yourself stuck with the sea in front of you and the entire Egyptian army chasing fast after you from behind. You have no place to go! Why would God lead us here? What could Moses have been thinking to bring us to this place? Did we miss God’s guidance? Is this the end of the road?

Have you ever felt like that in your spiritual journey? You follow where you think God is leading; but, it seems like you’ve come to a dead end? Circumstances get worse. You can’t see a single path to take that would get you out of your situation. Where’s God? I imagine the Israelites were asking that question. Then, God moves in the most mysterious way, as He so often does. We know the story. It’s one of the most amazing miracles in the Bible and, yet, when we face our Red Sea experiences, we are so prone to forget what God did for Israel. He made a way where there seemed to be no way!

When Moses got to the Red Sea, his dead end of the road, he cried out to God, and God spoke to him. God answered his prayer.  He gave Moses divine direction that replaced all the confusion with divine clarity and changed the destiny of a nation!   He told the people,

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.  The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.  The LORD Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13 (NLT)

The more you walk with God, the more you will experience the mystery of His guidance, providing hidden pathways when you couldn’t see where to go or what to do. We’re discovering more and more that the path is often hidden until you start the journey. Step out in faith, believing God to provide where He guides. He will make a way where there seems to be no way!  Just stay calm and ask Him to lead you even when you can’t see the path.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, that You stay close to me even when it feels like You are far away.  I choose to follow You wherever You may lead me.  It’s going to be exciting to see where You will guide me and how You will provide for me.  Even though I don’t know where the path may go, I trust in You and I’m ready to begin the journey!