"You'll need to go in first."

Those weren't the words I wanted to hear. It was about 3:00 in the morning on a windy, rainy night. I was standing in front of our language institute in Córdoba, Argentina. A middle-of-the-night phone call had yanked me out of bed telling me that an alarm had gone off; now I was in the company of two police officers, looking at the open garage door.

"You'll need to go in first," one of the officers said, "Our regulations don't allow us to enter the property until the owner is inside."

It was a sad reality that people were more worried about what police officers might steal than they were about the crimes that might be prevented. That's why the department had those regulations. But that wasn't my concern that night.

Twice in the preceding months I'd had someone point a gun at me, demanding money. One of those times had been inside the very building we were looking at. Now these policemen wanted me to go in before they did!

Fortunately, it was a false alarm. Someone hadn't closed the door well, and the wind blew it open. But those were some tense moments.

In the Old Testament, when God's people were about to enter the Promised Land, God repeated a promise over and over: I will go before you. I will fight your battles. I will drive out the people from the land where you are going to live.

I don't want a God who stays behind while I go first. I don't want a God who waits until I'm in trouble and then comes to my rescue. I want a God that goes ahead of me. I want a God that I can follow, one who will lead me the way I should go.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures. 
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

(Psalms 23:1-4)

I don't want a God who stays behind while I go first
That's the kind of God I want. That's the kind of God I have. He doesn't say, "You go first." He says, "Come, follow me."

You too can have a relationship with the God that goes before you. If you want to know how to become a child of God, write to me at tarcher@heraldoftruth.org. Or join the discussion on our www.hopeforlife.org blog.

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