God's Light Leads

Exodus 13:21-22

Have you ever heard the phrase “There’s too many cooks in the kitchen”? It’s a picture that describes something we see regularly: when everyone tries to be the leader, nothing really gets done. If you want a great example of this, just look at politics in our country. Everyone wants to be in charge, so there’s a stalemate. The government is pulled in way too many directions to actually go anywhere.

Israel was in a tough situation in the book of Exodus. They were escaping Egypt. They knew where they were leaving, but they weren’t exactly sure where to go. So God, in his kindness and mercy, manifested himself as a fiery cloud that went in front of them in the wilderness. Notice that the text doesn’t say that God sent them a fiery cloud—he sends Himself to lead them: “And the Lord went before them…” (Exodus 13:21a).

Also, notice that the LORD never left his people. He remained with them, even when they groaned and complained and disobeyed Him. God’s presence with his people wasn’t based on their performance, but on his promise to bring them into the land. God always keeps his promise, and he never leaves his people.

Our hearts are the exact same way. You and I both have dozens of different desires and temptations, whispers and shouts, that are pleading for us to follow them. If we never order our desires rightly, we’ll get stuck. As Christians, we have the Spirit of God within us as our Guide in this broken world. He has promised to bring his sons and daughters to himself: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6). We will fall short, but he will remain faithful. We can trust that out of all the voices we hear, we can follow his leadership. He will guide us to himself, where joy, peace, love, mercy, grace, and everything we’ve ever wanted will be waiting.

  1. What are some of the voices that are strong in your heart? (For example, comfort, sports, acceptance, social status, etc.)
  2. How do you listen for the leadership of the Holy Spirit?
  3. How are you encouraged to know that God’s presence is not based on your performance, but on His promise?
  4. What is something God is leading you to do that you have not done?