Where Are You Going?
September 17, 2020 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Do you have a destination in mind for your life? I’m not talking about a physical location, necessarily, but an objective that you are striving after. Some may call these life goals. What are you aiming for?
As followers of Christ who believe the Bible is God’s inerrant and authoritative word, we believe that God is leading our lives. Paul says that God “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11) and “all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). This is affirmed throughout the Bible (cf. Is. 55:11; Ps. 139:16).
So, where is God leading you? Does your life goal match God’s life goal for you?
God’s “life goal” for his people is repeated throughout Scripture in various forms. Perhaps the best summary of God’s goal is found in the repeated phrase, “I will be their God and they will be my people” (i.e. Gen. 17:7-8; Ex. 6:7; Jer. 31:33; Rev. 21:3). God aims for covenant relationship with his people.
Moses affirms and celebrates this after God delivers Israel through the Red Sea. He sings, “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode” (Ex. 15:13). Notice the following:
- God leads his redeemed people. We can take great comfort and courage in this truth. God actively is working for us and for our good. This is rooted in his character of love. Therefore, any of our “life goals” must be submitted to God’s plans for us, otherwise we will only be frustrated.
- God’s destination for us is himself. Moses says that God guides his people to “your holy abode,” that is, into God’s presence. This is God’s, and our, chief end: to glorify and enjoy him forever in his presence.
Those are the obvious truths from Exodus 15:13. But there are two under-the-surface truths that I want to highlight here. These truths help us frame the events and circumstances of our daily lives in light of God’s ultimate purpose for us.
- This affirmation comes after 400 years of slavery. Look at the verse again. “You have led in your steadfast love…you have guided them by your strength…” This leading and guiding included slavery for Israel. That was God’s plan for his people (cf. Gen 15:13). Often, when we think of God’s guidance, we assume that God would only lead his people through calm and comfort. Yet, he designs trials, even larger-than-life trials, for his people so that he can lead them to his “holy abode.”
- This affirmation comes after the people lost faith. Not only did God lead his people into slavery for 400 years, but God also led them into an alleged trap. He delivered them out of Egypt only to bring them to the Red Sea, where Pharaoh’s army pinned them down. The Israelites believed they were doomed (cf. Ex. 14:11-12). They had lost hope that God could lead them any further. God, however, provided a miraculous way through the Sea. Then Moses sings, “You have led in your steadfast love…” What’s the point? God’s commitment to lead us is NOT dependent on our faithfulness to follow. Praise God! God wants us to move any sort of confidence we have in ourselves to direct our lives rightly to him and him alone.
As the well-loved Proverb says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding…” because he leads you in his steadfast love and guides you by his strength.