Meanderings of a Minister

One Step At A Time?
May 1, 2014, 3:36 pm
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Have you ever noticed how God often does not give you the roadmap, but only gives you enough light for one step at a time?  It was the same for the Israelites.  When they came out of Egypt and were traveling to the Promised Land, God promised to drive the inhabitants out of the land ahead of them, but He told them:

“I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. “I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. “I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. “I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.” (Exodus 23:27–31, NASB95)

In other words, God promised He would deliver the land to them, but would not do so in one, fell swoop.  He would drive the people out little by little so that the Israelites could settle in the land and not have to make their own way, but also not have the land overrun in between the clearing and the settling of the land.  The Israelites would have to trust that God would carry out His plan and keep His word moment by moment.  There are other examples of God acting just like this in the Bible.

Consider Paul, blinded from his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.  God tells him to go into the city and wait.  That is all he tells him.  He only gives him enough light for the next step and not the whole journey.  Also, think about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac.  He only gets the instructions to go up the mountain and sacrifice Isaac, but doesn’t get the whole story.  When leaving Ur, Abram only got enough light for one leg of the journey at a time.  Joseph is not told why he has to wait in prison.  Moses is told to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, but not about the Red Sea, etc.

Why does God do this?  First, because He is God and that makes it the best and wisest thing to do.  He also knows that, given a roadmap, we would worship the map instead of the mapmaker.  Given the whole picture, we would drive ourselves insane trying to manage things.  We might also want to alter the plan to be less than the perfect plan God intended.  Jon Courson described it well when he said, “If we knew how it was going to work—it wouldn’t be faith.

If we knew where the supplies would come from—it wouldn’t be faith.

If we had it all mapped out—it wouldn’t be faith.”[1]

What are you going through right now that requires faith?  Why not take the time to stop and thank God for the light He has given for the step you are on and trust Him for the rest of the journey so that He gets the glory and you are blessed by the result?

[1] Jon Courson, A Day’s Journey: 365 Daily Meditations from the Word (Santa Ana, CA: Calvary Chapel Publishing, 2003).


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