When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt” (Exodus 13:17 NIV).
The shorter route is not the best one always. In God’s eyes the shorter route can have its dangers. He sometimes does not lead you through the shorter route to prevent you from facing things that you cannot bear. He may not explain why He leads you through the longer route. But it is wise to trust God in His leading; knowing that He sees ahead and already knows what you do not see and do not know.
Now why does God avoid the shorter route? One reason could be that those who prefer the shorter route are fickle-minded often. That means that they change their mind quickly. So those who try to travel the shorter route would prefer a still easier option if they face difficulties on the way. That easier option could be a decision to stop traveling altogether. More dangerous would be the decision to return to where you were before. In effect, you’ll make no progress if you prefer the shorter route.
In the modern world, Christians too want quick results even in the case of becoming spiritually mature. But that cannot happen through the shorter route. When those who prefer the shorter route face difficulties; they suddenly forget the joy of their faith and prefer to return to their own Egypts-their own sin and slavery to sin.
Therefore know that following God’s leading by the longer route is best. It might take longer. But it will take you to the Promised Land. That journey will have God’s Presence accompanying you too. So consider; is not the journey by the longer route worth it?