The truth that God went before is a full revelation of His love for us. He has made the way and empowered us to walk in it. We can love Him with joy and absolute faith that His love has already provided all we will ever need.
We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
It’s such a beautiful, comforting truth to know that God reached out to us in the limitless of His great love. Even in our sinfulness, when we didn’t know Him and perhaps didn’t even want to know Him, He reached out to draw us closer. The measure of the love of God is not that He loved us as we were. Rather, He loved us despite the way we were and was willing to give His all to enable us to overcome self and the world to enter into His eternal purpose for us. Throughout the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New, we can trace one single thread of comfort and assurance of His faithfulness. In all things, God went before. He went ahead to show us the way. At no point did He ever leave His people to stumble blindly into an unknown future.
God went before to reveal Himself.
Even if we only go as far back as Abraham, we see that God went before to lead him out of what was familiar and into a new future with Him. While His command was to ‘go’ we see that his sending out was also a calling in. This is always the case with God. He never removes us from something without bringing us into something else – a future where He is always present. Abraham’s ‘go’ was accompanied by a long list of God’s ‘I wills’ to define the way ahead. In all of His promises and dealings with Abraham, He revealed Himself and His purposes. He never leaves us guessing. It may take time and a little waiting for the full revelation to come, but He will always reveal what we need as He goes before us to show us the way into His purposes for us.
This is especially manifest in His liberation of Israel from Egypt. Although He had raised up Moses to lead His people, He remained present. God went before them as the pillars of cloud and fire, reminding them of His presence with them and that He would never leave them to their own devices. The journey through the wilderness was revelatory. It was a time where God taught His people, revealed Himself, and showed them through the law what was expected. At the same time, He was teaching them that they needed Him in everything, both physical provision and spiritual provision. The lesson was not only that we are utterly dependent on Him for everything in our lives. He also teaches us that He is both able and willing to provide for every need. His faithfulness is always to go before us to make a way and show us the way.
God went before us to the cross.
Jesus is the powerful evidence of the extent to which God is prepared to go before us. In Christ, He went before us to the cross. It was a journey through suffering and anguish, through death and the grave, and finally, through resurrection and into eternal life. The purpose of this was to not only make a way and show us the way but to become the way. Such is the magnitude of the love of God that He is willing to lay Himself down so completely that our way is not left to chance. We need only come to Him to find that He has already become every single thing we will ever need to be restored to Him. Even the faith required to receive and believe is already given to us and sustained by His indwelling power and presence in us.
Under the new covenant, the principle that God went before isn’t changed so much as it is fulfilled. He still goes before us, but it’s now from within us. There is no longer a separation, where God exists as an outward manifestation. He directs us and guides us from within so that we can never be apart from Him. The reality is that if we don’t hear or receive guidance, it’s because we’ve somehow ‘tuned out’ or have hindered our hearing with other distractions. Our God goes before us constantly and His Spirit is available without measure. Our difficulty is that we have to learn to close down the voice and demands of self which wants to remain in control. Thankfully, God is patient. He’ll never withdraw His presence nor cease to guide us. He will wait as we learn to control the fleshly disruptions and rely on Him alone.
The power in God went before.
The full magnitude of what it means that God went before can be found in what was accomplished through the cross. It was there that He dealt with the enemy once and for all and obtained an eternal victory that assures us of our future in Him. The absolute truth is that there is nothing the enemy can do to derail or destroy God’s purposes for us. He is already defeated, and as God continues to go before us, He teaches us how to establish that victory in our lives. Alone, we have no hope of even resisting Satan and his works, let alone defeating Him. But all this is already accomplished. God went before and utterly destroyed the works of the evil one. This is a spiritual truth, but it must still be ‘made flesh,’ i.e. be established in our lives through faith.
Our God is a God of all. He leaves nothing to chance and makes provision for every single need or situation. This includes our ongoing battle with the devil who would like nothing more than to deceive us into believing he has power over our lives. Any power he has is power we have given him. Unless we agree with him and allow him in, the defeat effected at the cross is complete. This is our protection and our victory, but it’s one we’re slow to learn because self and the devil are very persuasive. Self looks at the physical evidence rather than the power of God. Self sees the devil’s power rather than the truth that God went before to destroy his works. When we fix our eyes on God – on who He is and what He has already done – we enforce our victory through His power.
The empowerment of God went before.
No matter who we are or how inadequate we may feel, we are already equipped for anything we will be called upon to do because God went before. From the very beginning of time He has had a plan and a purpose for our lives, and has already created and set before us the good works we will walk in for His glory. Each of these is specifically shaped for us, and in our journey with Him, He shapes us specifically for them. Part of this lies in the fact that as God goes ahead of us to open doors and clear the way, He also works to empower us. We have unlimited access to the full provision that He has already made for every aspect of our lives. When God went before, it was to reveal the fullness of His grace which covers all things, great and small.
He never limits revealing His glory to only the big things. He walks with us daily to manifest His perfect empowerment in the ordinary things. God went before with the purpose of transforming ordinary lives into extraordinary lives lived completely in and with Him. This is how He reveals His love and faithfulness to the world. The tiny details covered with care and compassion by our loving Father are a powerful message to the world. When others see us empowered because God went before to make the way is testimony that glorifies God because it reveals His care and faithfulness. He doesn’t simply show up when the proverbial hits the fan. He is constant and unchanging and worthy of our faith in everything. The little things are the daily proof that He is willing to do everything to ensure that we are fully empowered, even presence Himself with us always.
The assurance of knowing God went before.
The joy of every believer is having the faith that nothing can surprise us because God went before. He knows what awaits and has already made provision. Our future choices aren’t hidden from Him, and the way has already been worked out for our good. In all things, He has gone before to make the way. Our other assurance is that it’s the way into His perfect love and perfect purposes. It’s not a haphazard or random journey that may or may not work out. He has planned carefully and covered every detail to enable us to walk into a glorious future, fulfilling our calling in Him. Nothing happens that He does not use to our good. Everything is part of His purpose and plan. He desires the best for us in Him. That is where He leads us with love, mercy, grace, and compassion.
We can love God as completely as He loved us. He has shown us the way and made it possible. We can follow with joyful hearts in absolute faith in what He has already done.
Thank You, Lord, for reminding us that You have gone before, even to the point of laying down Your life completely. Stir up this knowledge in our hearts so that we and the world can see You working in every aspect of our lives. Help us to hold fast to the truth that all things are already planned and provided for, and that nothing can catch You by surprise. Teach us Your ways and guide us always into the place You have prepared for us.