The Egyptians . . . pursued the Israelites and overtook them. (Ex. 14:9)

“Be careful what you wish for.” You may have received that advice at some point. The things you think you want don’t always produce the result you had in mind. King Midas wished for the golden touch. When he reached out to comfort his daughter and caused her to become a golden statue, he regretted his misguided aspiration. Philip Nolan, the lead character in the tale The Man Without a Country, impulsively wished that he might never again hear the name of the United States of America. He was sentenced to live aboard a navy ship and receive not one bit of news about his former country.

It isn’t just fictional characters who experience this regret. Pharaoh wished to recapture the Israelites, so he led his army in pursuit of them. And he caught them. Knowing how this story ends, we can be sure he wished he hadn’t.

We have all likely pursued the wrong thing at some point. We run away from God and toward wealth or retribution or reputation—whatever had captured our attention. Like Pharaoh and so many others, we discover too late that we’ve taken a tiger by the tail.

Pharaoh had time to consider his choice, yet he persisted. Most likely, you too have time to reconsider what you’re pursuing. Be careful what you’re chasing. You may just get it.

Submit your ambition to the Spirit and then follow his lead.

Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading a wide assortment of books.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.