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May 29, 2012


Change Requires Endurance – Exodus13:17-18

17  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18  But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.


The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.

J. Stowell


        God knew that in order for Israel to proceed as planned, He would have to take them the long way. He would have to lead His people around Philistine country to the Red Sea. This would begin to develop their endurance, their patience, and their trust as they followed Him towards the Promised Land. In His sovereignty, God knew that in order for Israel to finally reach Canaan they would have to establish some level of endurance, because He knew that building endurance would reduce the threat of long-term failure.

        Perhaps the most difficult aspect of change for us is building endurance. Our human nature instinctively knows that it is much easier to settle for the shortcuts. But in order for significant spiritual change to occur, we must choose the path that leads to growth. This is the path that places us where change can occur. Richard Foster said “We must always remember that the path does not produce the change; it only places us where the change can occur.” The pathway of change is a place where endurance is established, and it is the very spot where spiritual change can occur.

  1. According to Exodus 13:17, why didn’t God allow the children of Israel to pass through the land of the Philistines?
  2. Read Hebrews 12:1-3 – How are we to run the spiritual race? Who is our role model?
  3. How did God lead the children of Israel towards the Promise Land, according to Exodus 13:21-22? How does He lead us today?
  4. Based on your experience, in what way has endurance played a role in your own spiritual progress?
  5. What was Paul’s method of building endurance according to I Corinthians 9:27? Why does endurance require self control?


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