Exodus 223:20 – Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. (KJV)
In creating a formal morning prayer for myself, I ask God to do several things that I think I want and several things I need and I end that request with the phrase “that you have already prepared for me”, in the certain expectation that if those are the right things for me they are waiting for me and if I am asking for the wrong things, God will put me where he has already created a place for me.
My prayer for the people in my life includes the phrase “Deliver all the people in my life to the places you have prepared for them.”
I learned this concept so long ago that I really didn’t remember where it was in the bible from. Once I found the quote, I read chapter 23 from beginning to end to understand the context and to see if I was using that quote correctly. The passage is part of God’s admonition to follow His laws and His promise that if I obey his laws, that He has sent an angel to guide us to our proper place. The place he already has waiting for us.
This seems to imply that if we don’t follow God’s law we will not be guided to the place he has for us; works not faith. And, at least in one aspect, it does demand “works” from us. If we don’t try and live by God’s law and willfully disregard his direction, we turn away from the path that angel is leading us on and we never arrive at the place God has prepared for us.
This happens in exactly the same way that we must follow the directions to make an earthly trip. We cannot drive north, east or west and expect to arrive at a destination that is to the south. The bible contains directions and if we expect to arrive at our destination we have to follow them. But we are only human and cannot follow God’s direction with anything approaching perfection!
God knows we are only human and He has promised to send an angel to lead us so that we don’t have to rely on our fallible human wisdom to guide us along the path we are supposed to follow to our proper destination – the one God has already set out for us.
He just have to listen with a willing heart, willing to put aside how own limited human understanding and follow that angel to the place God has already waiting for us.