Written by the staff of Renew Devotionals
In every step, God will be with you, drawing you nearer to himself.
Then I will take you as My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the labors of the Egyptians. -Exodus 6:7
The book of Exodus is the story of Israel’s journey to a new life. God delivered the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt, and he led them through the desert toward the land He promised them. While God was leading his people to the physical destination of the Promised Land, every step along the way, he was also leading the Israelites closer to him. The journey was about more than a place; it was about a relationship, the true source of new life.
When we look at the rest of the Israelites’ history recorded in the Old Testament, we see that they decide to stray from this relationship with God. Israel ends up getting exiled from the Promised Land because of their unfaithfulness.
But Jesus came to make a way for them, and for people from all over the world, to know God and be restored in relationship. In John 17:3, Jesus says, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” According to Jesus, life is found in knowing God through Him!
Just as he did with the Israelites as he led them to the Promised Land, God brings Believers today into a closer relationship with him as he leads them home. Every step along the way is an opportunity for us to know God more.
Elizabeth Elliott was a missionary who faced many setbacks and struggles throughout her life. Elizabeth and her husband went to share the Gospel with an unreached people group. After making what seemed like progress, the natives they were evangelizing to turned on them and brutally killed her husband!
Amazingly, Elizabeth spent the next several years living among this tribe and making peace with them. She worked tirelessly to translate the Bible for them, but then ended up enduring so much conflict with a fellow missionary worker that she had to leave, missing out on seeing the fruit of her work. Returning to the States, Elizabeth was at a point where she didn’t know what God had next for her in life. All she knew was that God would be with her.
Elizabeth’s biographer wrote of her at this point in her life, “Perhaps she’d assumed that obedience in ministry meant following Jesus to an endpoint where one would stay put, and all would flourish. Now she realized, yet again, that a life of obedience never really comes in for a landing, so to speak.” Elizabeth reflected in her journal, “God leads us right on, right through, right up to the threshold of Heaven. He does not say to us, ever, ‘Here it is.’ He says only, ‘Here am I, Fear not.’”
What lies ahead of you in your journey may be filled with setbacks and suffering. But you can be assured that through it all, God will be leading you to himself. He will be creating opportunities for you to know him in a deeper, more fulfilling way. And this is a liberating reality because it means that no matter what, God will be with you, drawing you nearer to himself and into a deeper experience of freedom and abundant life in him!