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Friday, May 11, 2012

Cloud by Day, Fire by Night -- Leading the Chosen Ones out of the Wilderness

Today's Reading:
  • Numbers 8:1 - 9:23
  • Proverbs 10:29 - 30
Read Bible Passages Online

Numbers 8:1 - 9:23
I read more about the cloud that hung over the tabernacle today.  This cloud was the presence of God.  By day it appeared as a cloud, and overnight it appeared as fire.  The cloud was always there to lead the people.  Whenever the cloud moved on, the people broke camp and followed it.  Whenever the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, the people would stay.  The length of time that the presence of God stayed in one place at a time varied -- sometimes just overnight, sometimes a few days or weeks, sometimes for a month, and other times for a year.  Regardless the people were always ready to follow the presence of the Lord. 

Don't you wish it were that easy to follow the Lord?  Wouldn't it be something to have a physical manifestation of the Lord ahead of you, mapping your every move?  Feeling the Lord's presence and physically seeing it are two entirely different things. 

When you rely on your feelings and your commune with the Lord to lead you, your flesh can often get in the way.  It's so hard to distinguish at times what the Lord is saying to you verses what you want the Lord to say to you.  Or sometimes we do hear what the Lord says but we want to argue our way out of it.  Other times we might have a fleeting thought of something great, and think that it must have been sent by the Lord to us, when instead it might have been a distraction of our flesh to follow the wrong path.

Not everything the Lord tells us to do will be hard, but a good deal will be hard, will require sacrifice, and will take you out of your comfort zone.  So we can't just say, "well, it wasn't easy, so I guess it wasn't really what the Lord wanted me to do." If the Lord tells you to do it, there is a way to accomplish it.  The Lord does not give us direction without a means to follow. 

I still wish finding the Lord's path for my life was as easy as following a cloud.  It's so hard to separate the flesh from the will of God.  All one really can do when trying to discover their path is just to read the word and pray hard for direction in his or her own life. And when God tells you to go -- break up camp, and follow!

Proverbs 10:29 - 30
29  The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
30  The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.
Following the Lord truly gives one inner strength.  Looks like the message of today is to find the path the Lord has given to you, embrace it, and take strength in it.  Then you will have a stronghold when the rest of the world crumbles around you.

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