Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Journey Before Destination

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Journey Before Destination

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Journey Before Destination

MP4 Video - 720p (927.7 MB)
MP3 Audio (37.91 MB)

When we follow Jesus Christ, our final destination is the Kingdom of God. But what is the purpose of everything that we go through during this lifetime? Why is it so hard sometimes? Today we'll talk about the journey, and how God uses it to teach us faith, humility, and the importance of trusting God to lead us in every area of our lives.


[Rudy Rangel] Before we traveled to the Feast this year, we started warning the kids about I'd say a month beforehand because we hadn't been to Florida for the Feast of Tabernacles in about five years. So, the kids had no idea the kind of journey we were about to take. Twelve hours in the car. I mean, come on. We were getting ourselves ready for, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" So, I remember telling Edie and Harry, at least a month before the Feast, "Okay. When we get in the car, we're going to be in there all day." And they were like, "What does that mean?"

And I said, "When you wake up, we're going to get in the car, and we're going to drive to the Feast. And we're not going to make it there until way after your bedtime." And still, their minds were just like, "I can't even imagine that, being in the car that long." And so I told them, "Okay. Think of the most time that you can possibly imagine." I gave them a second. I said, "It's more than that. It's more than that." A 12-hour trip to a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old, it's pretty insane. They did well. I think all the prep, we got them ready to get out on the road and drive all in one day to the Feast of Tabernacles, and I think they did pretty well.

But, you know, a hundred years ago, driving to Florida would have been an impossibility. We could not have done it. But today we get to do that. We get to get in the car, and we get to travel. But for a lot of us, the traveling part, it's just something we got to do. We're looking to the destination. We're excited about celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. We're looking to the endpoint. And here in America, where the highways are easy and we can go 80 miles an hour… well sorry, 70. I should… I'm not going to say, "He was going 80." Nobody in our crew. But there were people passing us. So, people were driving 80 on those highways. But the trip, the actual driving part, that's just something we want to get out of the way because we look forward to our destination.

Let's go to Hebrews, as we begin here today, Hebrews 11. We'll read a couple of verses here. Hebrews 11. Hebrews 11 starting in verse 13. It says this. So, it's talking about people with reference to earlier in the chapter. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly they had called to mind that country which they had come out." And verse 16, "But now they desire a better, heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, and He prepared a city for them."

Today, I'm going to talk about the journey, our journey, the journey that we're all on together. We go through this life, and we all have that same destination. We look forward, and we yearn for the coming Kingdom of God, that Kingdom of peace that Jesus Christ is going to establish when he returns. And we look so forward to that. But we're not there yet. We are in transition. We're traveling there. We're getting there. And sometimes it feels like we're just being thwarted every turn we make. You know, this happens, and I stumble here. And this comes up, and it at times it becomes difficult. And we just want to be there. We just want it to be there. But today, I'm going to talk to you, and I'm going to submit, that the journey, the journey that we're on, is just as important as the destination. It's just as important because if you don't have the journey, you don't make it to the destination. You don't make it.

We're told in the Bible, by Jesus, "Seek first the kingdom of God." We remember that. We remember that part. I will seek that Kingdom of God. The same scripture, right after it though, it says, "And His righteousness." That is our journey, putting on that righteousness. We are to be living a life putting on righteousness because we know, those of us who have been at it for quite some time, it wasn't instant when we got baptized, as much as we want it to be.

When we got baptized, I remember being baptized and thinking, "Okay, now it’s… I'm good to go." By no means. By no means. Our righteousness isn't instantaneous. But in pursuit of that righteousness, and on our journey, we face things. We face some very difficult things. We face things that are difficult trials, trials that really make us struggle with doubt. We find ourselves in situations where we are tested to compromise our beliefs, and what we've known to be true for so long. We find ourselves in situations that we didn't plan for— trials, health things that now, we just have to sort of deal with this. What is this on our journey? What does this mean for us?

We struggle with fears. We struggle with interpersonal relationships among each other, among our co-workers, among our neighbors. What does that all mean? What purpose does that serve? When the hard times come, and we face some of these circumstances of life, we can become weary travelers, can't we? It's not always easy. Yet, we see that promise of the Kingdom of God, and we look forward, and we just say, "Well, what's the rest of this all about? What is it?" Well, we read about these individuals here in Hebrews, and we see, they saw from afar off, and they were assured of Him.

Who were they talking about? Well, if you go at the beginning of the chapter, we see that it mentions Abel. It mentions Enoch. It mentions Noah and Abraham. These are people that we look to in the Scriptures, know that they had a relationship with God, and they saw. They saw beyond their own lives, and they were assured of the promises that God had for them. They saw themselves as strangers and pilgrims journeying to that Kingdom of God, and they were assured. How assured were they of God's promises? Did they enjoy the journey? Did they enjoy that process? Was it easy for them? Because for me, sometimes the journey is hard. It's not easy. It's difficult.

Let's consider one of these patriarchs here. Let's consider Abraham because we know he actually went on a physical journey. God told him. He said, "Get out of your country. Get out of your country, and follow Me." And we read that, and today that doesn't sound too crazy, you know. David, you've left your country. Alex left his country. Judy, who's watching at home, with a sick daughter, left her country. I mean, people leave their country all the time. Not a big deal. It doesn't seem like it. I can go travel, visit family, and, you know, it's easy today. But for Abraham, it was a completely different world. People weren't jet-setting around the world like they are today. Imagine a world where you could only walk? That's way different than what we have today. And by the time you got there, there wasn't a Kroger. Trader Joe's wasn't there so that you can get those delicious Dunkers. You didn't know. You didn't know what you were heading towards. You didn't know anyone. You couldn't call anyone. You couldn't write to anyone. He went on this journey. Abraham moved from his homeland in faith.

And we don't read about any trepidation, do we? We don't read about him saying," Well, I don't know. Let's think about it. Let me think about this." It says he just got up and went. But was he perfect at that point? Had he reached everything that he could or did God have some lessons for him along the journey? We know that he wasn't perfect. Right away, when we read a story about him when he and Sarah had to escape the famine in the land, and he says to his wife, "Tell Pharaoh you're my sister so that he doesn't kill me. Don't tell the whole truth. Just tell him you're my sister. Then I can still live."

We read about this, and we think, "Wow, that's the father of the faithful." He wasn't perfect, but he was on a journey. He was on a journey. He was becoming who God wanted him to be. There's a little bump on the road, a sin that he had, and he had to overcome. And we have these situations in our life, too, just situations where we're tested for our faith, situations where we're tested for our beliefs and morality. And we can cower in fear. We can follow the peer pressure. We're tested. It's part of our journey. It's part of our journey. These small tests are very, very important to the character that we're trying to put on. It's vital.

God didn't cut him off because of his sin. No, not Abraham. And He doesn't do that with us either, because when we have a heart that we're trying to do our best, and sometimes yes, we are going to stumble. It's a long road for some of us. But God is looking for that right heart. He's looking for someone who is wanting to serve Him, and that's what Abraham had. Through this journey, he became the father of the faithful, someone we look to, someone we look to as a hero of faith. He lived his journey. And he saw, from afar off, the promises that God had, and he was assured of them.

When we're thinking about journeys, I think the most famous journey that we can think of in the Bible is the Exodus, right? The Exodus. Let's go to Exodus 13. Exodus 13. Exodus 13. We'll read starting in verse 17. "Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.' So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land out of Egypt."

God didn't take them on a direct route. There is a much faster way to go from Egypt to the Promised Land. He didn't take them that way. God knew them. He knew these people. He heard their cries as they were in captivity enslaved to the Egyptians. He took them the long way around. He took them the scenic route. Actually, He tells Moses in Exodus 3 that He wanted them first to come to this Mount, the Mount where Moses met Him as the burning bush. It was intended for him to bring them to the mountain to worship.

And the Israelites are finally being let go. They're not taken directly to the Promised Land. God knew all the things that they had to get rid of from being in captivity for so long. He knew. He knew they were in Egypt, and they had emotional baggage. And they had the influence of the Egyptian religion there. There was a lot of overcoming that they were going to have to tackle. When we go through difficult times, we're not unscathed. When we come through this life, we're not unscathed. Difficult situations. We have sins and characteristics, emotional things that you and I, we're trying to overcome.

Here we have an entire people, for multiple generations, living a life in slavery. And God knew that they had some things to deal with. They had to shed some of these things. Verse 21, "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people."

This is beautiful. Actually, it's beautiful to read this. Here these people had been crying out for years, for generations to God. And He gives them this sign of His presence, cloud by day, fire by night. Always there. They wake up in the morning. They look outside. Pillar of cloud. At nighttime, so they could see, pillar of fire. God was going to be there. He never left them. For the rest of this journey, they are led by the pillar of cloud and fire. Every day they would see this as a reminder that God was going to be there for them.

It's just like He's there for us. And how do we know that? We don't have a pillar of fire today anymore, do we? We don't have a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire. We don't have this physical thing to look at. What do we have? Well, as we grow, and we start this relationship with God, and we start to experience Him in our lives. We're touched by that. And we see. We see His hand in our lives. Until we start to listen to Him and to relate to Him and talk to Him, we start to see He is intimately involved in our lives.

He's faithfully following, faithfully there with us the whole time, seeing that we are putting on that growth. I know for me personally, you know, I've prayed… As we're all growing, we're all on this journey. We know our weaknesses. You know your weaknesses. I know my weaknesses. I know the things that I am desperately trying to overcome. And when I look back on the years that I've lived, I've been baptized, oh, not 20 years but pretty close. I could see that God was there. He was there. He was there.

I have prayed just like in Acts. I prayed for boldness, and I said… because I've always kind of been a shy person, and I have been praying for boldness for years. And it's neat to see who I was when I was 20, and who I am today. I see God's hand. He was there. Just like the pillar for the Israelites, He's been there with me the entire time. Whatever your shortcomings, are whatever your weaknesses are, whatever baggage you have from the Egypt that we have left, you're not alone on this journey. You're absolutely not alone. God will always provide a means for us to overcome, to overcome.

You know, Jesus when He sent out the Apostles, He said something very similar to them. Let's go to Matthew 10. When Jesus sent the apostles out, Matthew 10:5 Matthew 10:5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not:
American King James Version×
, "These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: 'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter the city of the Samaritans.'" Verse 6, "But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Verse 9. "Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food."

Jesus was sending them out on this first journey, and He says, "By the way, don't take anything. You'll be covered. We'll take care of you. Don't take any provisions." God was going to provide for them. And on our journey in life, God, He is providing. He's providing. Jesus says at the end of the book of Matthew, "I am with you always even to the end of the age." That includes us. We're in there. This is comforting for us for our journey.

Verse 16, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you to their councils and scourge you in their synagogues." Verse 18, "You'll be brought before governors and kings, for My name's sake, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you that in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."

He tells them first, "You are not taking on this easy task. I'm sending you among the wolves. You're going to go through some hardships. It's going to be difficult, but don't worry. I'll be there with what you have to say. I'll be there for you through that entire process." God isn't going to leave us alone. But they had to trust in Him. They had to trust what He was saying before they experienced God's provision. They had to put that trust first.

A few years ago, recording for Beyond Today, we went and interviewed Mr. Andy Diemer. You may have seen that program. It was actually a very difficult program to work on. It was very emotional because Mr. Diemer's daughter was assaulted and murdered. And we sat there for hours as he told us his story and we went through it. And one of the most inspiring things that he said that day, we didn't actually get it on camera. I remember though like it was yesterday. We had wrapped up. We were talking. We were trying to, you know, lighten the mood a little bit because it was a heavy day.

We had to turn the cameras off. The lights were cooling off. And I remember him saying, "You know, through it all, through everything that I went through with my daughter, God never let me down. He's never let me down." And he looks to his wife and says, "Willa, has God ever let you down?" "Nope. He's never let me down." That was amazing to hear for me. I had never gone through a trial like he had. And, you know at this point, he's recognized that God is working through all of this. It's not for nothing. It isn't for any… it's not for nothing.

God's not going to let us down even when it gets hard. Even when our journey is difficult, He doesn't let us down. And it's comforting to know that He has a purpose. He has a purpose for those at difficult times. It's not for nothing. Let's go back to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 8. We'll finish their story up. Deuteronomy 8. Deuteronomy 8:2 Deuteronomy 8:2And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or no.
American King James Version×
, "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you…” So, this is after they've traveled. They're on the brink of entering the Promised Land. Moses is telling them all. He's renewing the covenant with them. He is talking to this new generation. And he says here in verse 2, "Remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, and to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." God had a purpose. He didn't just aimlessly lead the Israelites through that wilderness. He had a purpose. He was going to humble them. He was going to test them. He was going to see where they were at in their faith. He wanted to know what was in their heart.

These are the transformative things that God is working in us, too, on our journey. He wanted to humble them. But He takes care of them. He says, "I allowed you to hunger. I allowed you to hunger so that you would know that I'm there," because that's the time he gave them the food. It wasn't just there. He waited, so they knew that it was God who provided for them. It was God.

Verse 4, "Your garments did not wear out, nor did your foot swell all these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you." It's encouraging to know that God is taking this much care with these people, and He's doing it with us. He's doing it with us. You know, we think about chastening and our modern… our kids are in public schools, so we have discussions with parents around us. And we hear about, you know, how chastening children go, and what it's viewed as today.

But really when God loves, He wants what's best for us. And sometimes it's the tough love. It's that tough love. Here He's showing that He was present. He was there. Verse 11, "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, His statutes which I command to you today, lest— when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, your silver and gold are multiplied, and all you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty…" verse 16, "who fed you in the wilderness with the manna."

He's saying, "When things get good." And that's true for all of us. Sometimes we're going through difficult trials. But sometimes things are good. Don't forget God. He's still with us there on that journey. Those blessings, they came from Him. They came from Him. He's talking to this new generation, this new generation of people, because the ones who came out of Israel, the ones who were complaining, the ones who built the calf, God sort of did a cleaning. He sort of did a purging, so that they can start new. They're getting ready to conquer this new Promised Land, and God knew they could not continue to carry that baggage that they had left with them from Egypt.

Let's go to Joshua 6… or 5, Joshua 5. Now, we're getting to the point where they're crossing over on their journey. They've been waiting for 40 years. A generation has died out. There's a new leader. Joshua is now. And in Joshua 5 we read, as their story and their journey continues, verse 5 of chapter 5, "For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way they came out of Egypt, and had not been circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, to all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord— to whom the Lord swore that He would not show them the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’"

So, we have this new group of people, who were journeying all this time. They had not been circumcised. It probably would have been better when they were eight days old, but they still needed to make that covenant with God. We, too, make a commitment with God. We can't sit on the sidelines and just watch as things go by. Baptism, that's how we make our covenant with God today. It's how we get the power of His Holy Spirit, and it's how we are cleansed from our past. All the burdens we've been carrying from our Egypt, God knows we have to get rid of those. We cannot continue on this journey carrying everything from before.

They had journeyed. They were coming to this new destination, and their journey, it had a purpose. It had a purpose. Let's go to verse 8, "So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed." Great idea. Verse 9, "Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.' Therefore the name of this place is called Gilgal to this day."

The reproach of Egypt. The failing, you know, the baggage that they had is finally being lifted. They have taken on this covenant, and they are leaving everything that they learned from Egypt behind. They journeyed, and their journey had a purpose. And our journey, it has a purpose, too. It has a purpose, too. We go through the trials and difficulties that we go through, as we go through our journeys, it absolutely has a purpose.

In James, we read this. A very familiar scripture in James 1. And let's think about this as we go on to the next section. James 1 says this. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith it produces patience. Let patience have its perfect work, in you that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

So, we talked about Israel moving as a people, going on this journey. What about the journey of us though kind of as individuals? We're together collectively as a church, but we're also individuals growing at our own pace. Recently, we watched Joseph: King of Dreams again with the kids. If you haven't seen that, it's a cartoon first of all. But it is very good. It's very good. And Joseph is a fantastic person to look at and his life journey. He had a journey that he went through.

You know, he was sold by his brothers. All right, let's do a quick recap. Sold by his brothers. Then he gets sold into slavery. He works as a slave. Then he's hired by… not hired, but he's a slave still working for Potiphar. Potiphar's wife accuses him of assault. He goes to prison. He unjustly goes to prison. So, then he's in prison for a while. He interprets the dreams of the chief butler and the chief baker. And one of them dies. The dream came true. We know from Joseph's story that he can interpret dreams. And he's in there for two more years. Two more years. And then the Pharaoh has a dream, it needs interpreting, and finally the chief butler's, like, "Oh yeah, I knew this guy down in prison, Joseph. He can tell you the dream."

So, he comes out, tells Pharaoh the dream, and there begins his rise in Egyptian power. So, when we read it, and we read it in a handful of chapters in the book of Genesis, we read, "Wow, yeah, great. Joseph, he's journey ended up well." We just read an entire life. Oh yeah, great, you know, 8, 10 chapters whatever Joseph's life is, that's great. And it does end up well if we go… Let's go to Genesis 50. Because he recognizes something at the end of his life that is important to read as we see the end of the story here.

Genesis 50. So after all that, then his brothers show up. They need food, and then he reveals to them, "Hey, I'm Joseph," and they're scared because they knew what they did to him when he was young. And this is how his story buttons up here in Genesis 50:18 Genesis 50:18And his brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be your servants.
American King James Version×
. "Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, ‘Behold, we are your servants,' and Joseph said to him, 'Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?’" Verse 20, "But as for you, you meant for evil against me, but God, He meant it for good."

I had a friend a couple of years ago who was going through a very difficult health trial. And we were talking about some of these biblical characters. And we read them, and I was saying to him, "You know, some of these guys we know, they had difficult lives and it ends up okay." He's like, "Yeah, you're right. But it doesn't say how they got through those things."

I can't imagine after Joseph interpreted the dream for the chief butler and it comes true, and then “I have to wait in prison two more years before I finally get released…” before he finally remembers that, "Hey, something miraculous happened." This is an entire life that we read through. This was his journey. And it took him to the end until he says, "You know what? You guys meant to do evil to me, but God was working on a different level. And He meant it for good." And I can't say in the darkest days of him serving under Potiphar, getting thrown into prison for being falsely accused, that he wasn't thinking, "You know, why? Why this journey? This is hard."

It wasn't until things wrapped up that he recognized God's hand the entire time. The lessons that we learn are often in retrospect. When we're in the heat of difficult times on our journey, it's not easy to say, "Oh, I'm sure God means this for good." That's not easy to say. That's okay. That's okay when it's hard. It's okay. I think these scriptures are here, and they're written for us to get through, so that we can come on the other side and say, "Ah, now, I see. Now, I see that entire journey God was there. I can see it."

1 Peter 1:6-7 1 Peter 1:6-7 [6] Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×
. I'm going to read this in the New Living Translation. It says, "Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold— though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."

When we're in the middle of our tough journey, it's not easy to see this and say, "I know this is for my good." But it's here for us to encourage us to continue on. Judy and I watched a documentary just recently, Netflix, and it was called The Iron Cowboy. Has anybody seen this? Not one? Okay. Wow, that is shocking. Okay. The Iron Cowboy. It was a documentary about this guy who decided he wanted to do what he calls "A 50, 50, 50." He was going to do 50 Ironmans, in 50 days, in 50 states. Okay. In case you don't remember what an Ironman is, it's a two and a half-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and then you run an entire marathon, a full marathon. He was going to do 50, in 50 days, in 50 states. It was really fascinating the endurance that this man had.

And at the end of this, hey, this is grueling. This is grueling. I can't even imagine doing the swim part on one. But to see this man endure and pursue, and slowly get out of bed each morning as he gets up and he starts to stretch, it's inspiring. And at the end of the movie, his wife says this. I'll share a couple quotes from what is said in the documentary. His wife says, "It was an absolute nightmare, but it was crazy, and it was awesome. It was totally character building, and that's what humans don't like. Human beings believe that if things are hard, they're wrong. They think nothing should be hard. They don't like adversity. They don't like people with positive attitudes in the midst of adversity. They believe that compromise and sacrifice don't exist. And they don't ever see the reward of the refining fire."

That's what we're going through in our journey. James Lawrence, who was "The Iron Cowboy," he said this at the end. He said, "Whatever trials and tribulations you're going through, it's hard. Fight." I want to wrap up these stories by saying a few things. We're on this journey together and we're not alone. We have our God, we have each other, and we're all along with different places on this journey.

I had a conversation last Sabbath thinking about… and I was thinking about this journey all week. You know, what I know today, being almost 40, I've learned quite a bit than what I knew when I was 20. And you know what? I needed those years. I needed those years to grow. And what I'm going to know at 60 is more than what I know now, because I need that time. I need that time to grow, to grow in spiritual character. Since I was a kid, and for all of you since you first heard about it, the Kingdom of God that has been the destination. That's what we're looking to.

And we experience life, and we go through the testing of faith. And the only way to gain that faith, to gain that spiritual character is to go through this journey. Last week, Mr. McNeely was reading some scriptures and some conclusions in Daniel, Daniel 10. And he mentioned multiple times that Daniel was 80. It took Daniel all these years to finally come to these conclusions. He needed that time as well to be able to grow. For most of us, this journey is going to take a lifetime. We can't get into the mindset of, "Oh, I just want to skip over it. I just want to be in the Kingdom." The journey is just as important as the destination. There is purpose to our journey. But more than anything we are learning faith, and trust, and humility. There is purpose, a life of letting go and letting God lead us like a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

The journey has value. It's not something that we can just wish off. The journey is where our transformation takes place. And what happens when we don't consider the journey valuable? We miss major parts of our growth. We don't recognize that God is always there when we don't see the journey as valuable. And when we don't see the journey as valuable, we coast. And when you coast, you don't grow. Without the journey, you do not make it to the destination because before you reach your destination, you must go on the journey.

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