Unexpected Places for Unknown Reasons by Debbie Stuart

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Unexpected Places for Unknown Reasons
Series: Lessons Learned
Debbie Stuart
Exodus 15

Grab your Bible, and turn to Exodus 15.

Heavenly Father, You have called us for a righteous purpose, and You lead us in ways that are contrary to our own will. Cause our thoughts to come in accordance with Your plans and make our desires to be Your desires. We are your maidservants; let it be as You desire.

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof…” - Ecclesiastes 7:8 (KJV)

Starting something is the easiest thing in the world — finishing it is hard. I’ve started hundreds of diets; I’ve started exercise programs; even this writing project was started and then neglected.

Finishing strong can be so hard because we get stuck along the way, come to crossroads and choose the wrong direction, find ourselves in unexpected places for unknown reasons or are unsure of how to make progress.

An example of this can be found in Exodus, Chapter 15. Let’s look closely at the details and glean lessons to help us get where God is trying to take us.

In Exodus 14:29, the Israelites have just faced an impossible situation: The Red Sea. They did not know what to do, which way to go or how to proceed, they could not see the solution. But the Lord intervened in a miraculous and unexpected way and parted the Red Sea, and “they walked through on dry ground.” They walked right through the middle of their problem. God’s Divine intervention was a grand display of His faithfulness, His greatness and His control over their problem.

And what followed in Exodus 15:1-21 was a great celebration, thanking God for His deliverance, blessing Him for His goodness and dedicating lifelong devotion to their great King. They love “this place.” And they lived happily ever after … wait, not so fast. I was shocked to read what happened just three days later.

Verse 22 tells us the Lord led them into the Shur Desert through the wilderness. Stop right here for a moment and take this in, God led them to the wilderness.

You can be in the middle of the wilderness and still be in the will of God.

Oh, yay, I can’t wait to go to the wilderness … says no one, ever. But, apparently, in the wilderness is where God wanted them to be. The wilderness was the way to get where God was taking them.

Side note: Don’t confuse this with the Israelites “wandering 40 years in the wilderness.” They wandered because of their unbelief and disobedience, God did not choose that path for them. Do you see an obstacle that kept them from finishing strong? It wasn’t the enemy that kept them out of the promise land for 40 years, it was their attitude.

Back to the story. Exodus 3:22 says “they were in the wilderness three days without water.” Put yourself in that situation & ...

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