Have you ever prayed that God would go before you? Me too, but I want to share with you a little bit about what I have learned recently about what it means for Him to go before us.
For me, I have always asked Him to go before me. And maybe you do too. You have a job interview, you are beginning a new relationship. Maybe you are moving to a new state. Or beginning a new ministry.
God, please go before me…
But one thing that I have learned recently is that when I ask Him to go before me, I am in reality praying like He hasn’t. In truth that is something I pray in fear. Because one thing that has stood out to me recently is that when you follow Jesus, He already goes before you. That is what happens when you follow someone. They automatically go before you.
It is not a question if He will go before you. It is a truth. And He isn’t just a step or two ahead of you, He is and has been eternally, since before the beginning of time.
I was reading John 21 the other day, and something stuck out to me. I wrote about this a little bit last week, but this is after Jesus is resurrected from the grave.
“Come and have breakfast.” John 21:12
Some of the disciples were in a boat again. They had seen Jesus twice since He had risen from the grave. They had just gone with Peter fishing, but that night they caught nothing. When morning came Jesus was standing on the shore, but they didn’t recognize Him as He instructed them cast their nets down on the right side of the boat. They did as they were told, and were unable to bring in the nets because of the large number of fish.
The disciple that Jesus loved told Peter, It is the Lord. Now this differs from when Jesus was walking on water in the storm approaching the boat. That time Peter had said Lord, if it is you tell me to walk on the water… This time they didn’t question if it was Jesus. They already knew.
There was no fear here. No questioning. No If it is you… Peter was so excited that he dove into the sea and swam to shore, with the other disciples following in the boat, lugging the net full of fish.
When they got to the shore they saw a fire with fish lying on it, and bread as well. Jesus had already provided for them, yet He invites them to bring the fish they caught, and then He took the bread and the fish and gave it to them.
They obeyed. He provided, and then He had breakfast ready for them on the beach. And it doesn’t seem like the breakfast He had provided was the fish they had just caught. No they were still dragging that net of fish in.
He was there. He already had what they needed. And Jesus had already prepared it for them. He wasn’t like Oh, yeah I have some fish and bread too that we can cook. It was already done. It was there, and it was ready when the disciples got to shore.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
We forget that. We forget that He prepares us for the place He has prepared for us. I forget this all the time. I also forget that His word lights my path. He makes it clear. But I pray in fear, instead of in faith. I hear the enemies whisper Are you sure God said… and I begin to wonder if He really did say If you knew what I was doing you would step out of the in faith, instead of recognizing who He is immediately.
But everytime I have stepped out in faith, He has been there with breakfast on the beach. I am not sure why it always surprises me, when I see that He is who He says He is. And I am not sure why I don’t stand in expectancy knowing He is who He says He is. I am not sure why I ask Him to go before me, instead of trusting that He takes what we bring Him, our two hands, and little faith, and is standing at the end of the path saying Follow me.
One day when you look back, you will not look back and think I wish that God had gone before me. You are not going to look back in disappointment thinking I wish God had provided for my every need when He said to follow Him.
No, you will look back and see that He was faithful. You will look back and see He called you to walk on water in the storm, but also was on the shore with breakfast prepared for you.
So when you pray, you can pray in the confidence that He already goes before you. You can thank Him that He has gone before you, in the truth that He has.
Thank you God that it is true that when we follow you, you are before us. Help us to understand that truth, and stand firm in who You are. As we follow you help us to remember Your faithfulness, and to always consider that Your works are good, and that You are always there with all of our needs already provided for. In Jesus name. Amen.