Exodus 13:21-22 (NASB)
“The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”
When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt's bondage, He led them by cloud in the day, and by fire in the night. He was leading them to exit the past and move forward to what He had promised and dreamed of for them.
Instead of taking the short route, that is, the way of the Philistines, He led them around by the way of the wilderness, foreseeing that they may become fearful and change their minds when they saw war.
Many years of staying in the wilderness would have caused them to be convinced by God's power and assuring Presence. But, that generation never entered the promise land. 12 spies were sent out to spy the land, and 10 gave a bad report because they feared those giants in that land. Only Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. They were full of faith and courageous.
Even though the Israelites stepped out of bondage (Egypt) physically, their hearts remained in bondage (fear). They derived conclusions based on fear; not on what God has said to them.
Deriving conclusions from fear create boundaries that limit one from crossing over beyond that line. Many of us were in bondage before we knew God. We failed in some areas, got into sinful habits, and there remains a fear that we are not able to break away from that past. That conclusion haunts, blocking us from not wanting to step over to try something new, or hinders us from having faith to believe in God's words for our lives.
But this is the truth: Jesus died so that we can part with condemnation and the punishment of sin. What was done in the past was healed by Jesus' wounds. Because of the price He paid, we can start again.
Therefore, never derive conclusions from fear, but from the words of God. His words are stronger and more powerful than your fears and your past. His truth is even more real than your real or regarded fears. Let Jesus conclude the final word over your life today.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
"Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.”