“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17
Looking at this map, you can see the shortest route to their Promised Land; however, what a long journey God took them on. In fact, the journey was so long that the people longed to go back to Egypt. They reported that they would rather be slaves.
Did we not say to you in Egypt, Let us be as we are, working for the Egyptians? For it is better to be the servants of the Egyptians than to come to our death in the wasteland. Exodus 14:12
How often do we choose the world because it’s easier (so we think), yet, God wants so much more for us. We are often blind to it, or we rationalize our behaviors. God redeems.
God often takes us the long way. Nothing quick, rushed, or sloppy about Jesus. He will create situations in our lives, take us places, and do anything to help us become who we were meant to be in Him. For sure, the people made choices that went against God’s will, which caused the journey to be more exhausting, confusing, and painful.
While actual numbers are unknown, it is believed that between two and three million Jews were freed from Egypt with the opportunity to experience Yahweh’s milk and honey promised land. Yet only two original adult pilgrims would ever walk on Canaan’s soil. That’s a startling ratio. Two in one million. Hmmmmmm… One-in-a-million. I guess I can see why many don’t choose to go all the way with God. It’s easier to stay on the main road with more people and less uncertainty. And besides, travel isn’t easy when you’re headed in the direction of abundant living. (Shirer, 2010, p.viii of One in a Million)
God does not promise us just milk. He promises milk and honey, but sometimes He has to take you the long way so you can be molded into His likeness. We are all on this journey toward our heavenly home. Perhaps this journey is our ultimate “long way.” Yet, within this journey, we are really good at veering off, taking long extended personal breaks (I’ll do it my way, Lord, thanks, but no thanks), placing a higher priority on worldly pursuits, being enticed by the enemy’s suggestions, or being so busy we don’t even stop to realize where our feet have taken us. How did I get here?
I read a beautiful marriage testimony yesterday. A Godly woman willing to share her veering off, her re-dedication to get back to God, and how God was faithful to bring her to a place of milk and honey. The fantastic thing about the long-way journey is when we surrender, return home to Jesus, and, most importantly, find His gifts and promises to be sweet as honey.
…. She continues to state on the “Marriage is Beautiful” Facebook page,
“I have been blessed more than I deserve! GOD IS GOOD, and marriage is beautiful! Chelsea Longbottom
What I loved about her post is the “Milk and Honey,” the “One-in-a-Million” claim. Chelsea embraces the journey toward the Promised Land with courage and gratitude. She’s left Egypt, and there is no turning back.
Where are you on your journey? Veering off? Not sure? Choosing to embrace the world?
God wants you to experience a milk-and-honey kind of living, and He is only a prayer away. Some hard choices and changes in the places we go, how we live, or our attitude may need some cleanup, but it’s worth it!
Jesus died for us to have an abundant life! I pray we can all evaluate our lives, and even if it takes the “long way,” the milk and honey are our goals and worth the journey home.