Different variations of an old blessing go something like this: “May God go before you on your journey and be the last one to finish.” Really, this blessing could rephrase God’s promises to Israel in Deuteronomy 31:8. Yet even God’s presence isn’t enough to keep Israel from wandering from Him. In fact, Israel will forsake God, meet with destruction for their idolatry, and then blame their sufferings on God’s palpable absence (Deuteronomy 31:16-17).

The above blessing could justifiably add, “…and may you trust God every step of the way.” God through His Spirit is always with His people, but we don’t always perceive God’s presence or trust God in our journey. Without the grace of God’s presence, Israel stands no chance of receiving all of their allotted promises. Without relying on God’s grace, they will see the blessings God gives justly taken away for their unfaithfulness. Today I offer this blessing in response for the people of Agapé Chicago: “May God’s Holy Spirit gladden you with His presence to obey God wherever you may go.”