For 40 years in the desert, the Israelites woke up every morning, and looked toward the tabernacle. If the cloud was still, they remained where they were. If it moved, they packed up all their stuff, and moved too.
Every day ~ for 40 years.
As simple as that.
There was no question about whether they would obey or not. (well, actually, there was, but there wasn't supposed to be. I guess the same thing could be said about us some days? Maybe? Just a thought...) Sometimes they were stay someplace for just a day or two. Sometimes they would stay for weeks, or months, or years. But every day, they had to look, and see ~ What was the direction of the cloud that day? Did it move, or stay still. And that was a key thing there - sometimes it moved. Sometimes it didn't. The moving was important. But so was the staying still. God calls us to both ~ I think that is easy to forget sometimes. Stillness is harder to accept at times - action seems more noble, more worthwhile, less wasteful, something!
I loved the quote at the end of one of my devotional readings this morning "God ordered the lives of the Israelites. And he'll order yours if you will let him. If you need to know which way to turn, look up"
When the Israelites were getting ready to enter the promised land, they packed up all there stuff (once again), put it on their backs, and started to walk. And here is where it gets interesting. The Jordan River was in the way. God did not clear the path first. He did not make the way wide open and ready. No easy going for his followers.
But, "as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests... shall rest in the waters.... the waters... shall be cut off".
Not 10 minutes before. Not 10 minutes later. Not even 1 minute later. As soon.
The Israelites had to take that step, into the water, in order to see the Jordan move.
We need to learn to do the same thing. Take that step, into whatever it is God is leading us toward.
Anyone who reads this blog already knows that I love Streams in the Desert. One of the quotes in it this morning that really hit me was, "Faith that goes forward triumphs".
So today, let's take a deep breath, look up to see where the cloud leads us (or perhaps tells us to stay?) and then let our faith triumph.