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The Crooked and Narrow

Click here to read Exodus 13 on BibleGateway.com

6d83f4c054177b15825d822d4e889445When 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.” – Exodus 13:17

Option A  – you can grow some wheat over the next six months, harvest it, thresh it, crush up the grain, knead it, and bake it. Then harvest some tomatoes, crush em up, make some sauce.  Raise a few pigs, wait for them to mature, slaughter them, butcher them, cure some meat, and cook up some pepperoni.  Put it all together, cook it in your over; enjoy some pizza.

Option B – Call Dominos, and have hot pizza at your front door in thirty minutes or less, if driving to the store is too inconvenient.

Which option do you choose?

Generally speaking, people almost always choose the quickest option.  In fact, most of us get a little uppity when people suggest that we put more time into a project than we wish.  If we want to attend twenty minutes of the three-hour staff meeting, others  should be grateful we showed up at all.  One could argue it’s laziness, but typically lazy people are too lazy to actually argue, so the point is moot. A big lethargic moot.

POWER WALKING

Or bring it to the homefront. Imagine for a moment you’re taking a family trip, and right as you walk out the door, your sweet minivan blows a gasket.  So now to get your entire family to Wally World, you have to walk the entire way.  Oh, and you also have to carry all your worldly possessions on your back.  Don’t you think the shortest route would probably be the most appealing?

Cue the Israelites.  They’re running from Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world – who, by the way, might be a little upset that all their kids are dead and their livestock have boils – and rather than heading straight to your new suburb, Moses starts walking off down the scenic highway. Don’t you think you might start to question the sanity of your fearless leader?

THE TRAIL LESS TRAVELED

Do you trust God enough to follow Him even when the road is not straight?  In this case, the concern was that if the Israelites were to face some tough challenges right away, they might opt for the familiar slavery of Egypt rather than the challenging future freedom that lay ahead. But it was the longer road that readied them for the future.  Without the longer road through the desert, they may never have had the strength to take the Promised Land.

Is that where you are?  When difficulties come, are you tempted to stay in the easy Sunday-morning relationship with God you have now?  Are you willing to give up the easy road, and be a little inconvenienced in order to learn to serve God better?  Is it easier to just browse on your phone during the sermon, or will you take the effort to actually hear what your pastor is saying and try to apply it? Will you give up Man Night (or Ladies Night) to spend time at church when that old missionary comes through?  Will you agree to teach that Sunday School class?

In the end, those choices may be the longer road – but they might just lead you to something greater God has planned.

 

 

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