“God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.” Exodus 13:18
Today I’m spending some time reflecting on the new habits I’ve developed over the last few months:
- Drinking more water
- Starting my day with a glass of lemon water
- Eating organic fruits and vegetables
- Doing some type of physical activity every day
I’m feeling great about these new habits!
But then I see there are also a number of habits that I did not practice. In fact, I even forgot that I said I was going to work on them.
Isn’t that how most of us are? There are some habits that are easier to change, and then there are some that feel like we will be stuck with them forever and they will never change. It’s these habits that make us cry out to God in desperation.
“Lord, take away my sugar cravings,” we plead. I know I’ve sent up a few choice prayers like that myself.
Yet, the closer I draw to God, the better I understand why God often chooses the (what seems like) loooongggggg, slow process to change us rather that the quick instantaneous miracles that we all pray for.
The Bible tells us that, “God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.” Exodus 13:18 NLT
What?!!! A roundabout way?? Why would God do that? After all of their suffering under the hand of the Egyptians, why wouldn’t He cut them some slack? Haven’t they struggled long enough? Haven’t YOU struggled long enough?
Although God could have taken the Israelites on the shortest way to Canan, He knew the short route would have required them to travel through enemy territiory– a battle He knew they were in no position to win.
Because of their broken spirits (Exodus 6:9), God knew how fragile their faith was.
Even though God demonstrated His presence, power, and protection several times, He knew that they would want to return to Egypt (bondage) instead of entering the promised land (freedom) because that’s what they had been accustomed to for so long.
Lastly, if the Israelites had taken the short route then the Egyptians would never have been wiped out in the Red Sea! This event provided another opportunity for God to demonstrate HIs power and provision for His people. Remember, God is fighting our battles for us!
The miracles and shortcuts that we seek often lead us right back to brokenness because they were not effective in renewing our hearts and minds. Just like the poor person who wins the lottery–it’s only a matter of time before we’re right back into our poverty and fear mindsets.
God is looking for a change from the inside out. He wants us to learn to:
- See ourselves as He sees us
- Understand who we are in HIm
- Operate in faith, not fear
- Trust Him in all we do
- Cultivate patience, obedience and discipline
- Seek Him first above all else
These changes don’t come about instantaneously. Success and mastery of anything takes time and patience. Sometimes God will need to take us on a roundabout route because He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows when we’re ready.
So reflect on your health and weight loss goal. Are you praying for a miracle? Are you looking for an easier way, a magic bullet?
Learn from the Israelites that roundabouts, though tedious, are all part of God’s plan. Whether it’s a stronger faith, or a healthier body, the time, effort, and struggle will be worth it.
Notice anyone who has excelled in an area that you may be challenged and they will tell you that there was a price to pay. They made lots of sacrifices. I bet they will also tell you that it was well worth it.
My friends, let’s stop praying, wishing, wanting, and hoping for a miracle or shortcut.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to rise up over your stumbling blocks and strongholds. Ask Him what he is teaching you on this journey, and continue to put your trust in Him. You were not created to live life on your own struggling day after day trying to fix yourself.
- You can find the motivation to get up and get moving
- You can learn to eat when you’re hungry and stop when your full
- You can kick your sugar addiction
- You can stop late night eating
- You can eat within your boundaries
Not in your own strength, but in the strength of your Heavenly Father.
You’ve got this because God is in control!
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