Thursday, December 19, 2013


He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

During their journey to the promised land, the Lord visited the children of Israel in a cloud.
This was no ordinary cloud. It accompanied the presence of the Lord. When the Lord visited His people, He came in the cloud by day and the fire by night. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud remained, they stayed in that place, always waiting for the cloud to move first, according to the Lord's perfect time.

15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire.
16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.
Numbers 9:15-16

The children of Israel moved with the cloud of the Lord!

17 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents.
Numbers 9:17

It is important to wait for God's timing and to never get ahead of God inn our lives!

18 At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped.
19 Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not journey.
20 So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the Lord they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the Lord they would journey.
Numbers 9:18-20

It is equally important to not lag behind the Lord!

21 So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey.
Numbers 9:21

The secret is to be so in tune with God that we know when He is moving and when we must wait!

22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.
23 At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
Numbers 9:22-23

It is erroneous to think that God will move in our timing!

Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
John 7:6

Why does God command us to wait for the cloud?

1. It teaches us to allow God to take the lead and go before us!
  • We are not to "go" and then expect the Lord to support our decisions!
  • Jesus said that "The Shepherd goes before the sheep" - not the other way around! (See John 10:1-5)

2. It teaches us not to lean on our own understanding!
  • We are not to develop "formulas" that will give us success every time!
  • Moses brought water from the rock by striking it. When confronted with the same challenge again, God told him to "speak to the rock." Moses disobeyed and struck the rock instead of speaking to it. It seems he leaned on the previous  "formula" which proved so successful for him rather than do it God's way!

3. It teaches us not to depend on our own power!
  • Waiting on God can be very difficult. In fact, it may be the hardest command to obey!
  • We may feel very insecure, vulnerable and powerless when we sit back and do nothing while waiting for God's timing!
  • But that is the very point! God wants us to trust in His way, His power and His timing!

Christians are often criticized for waiting on the Lord to move. We are encouraged to move out, trusting by faith that God will back us up.

Peter gave us a great example of when to step out in faith:

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea...
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Matthew 14:25,28

Peter did briefly walk on the water - but notice his request to Jesus"

“Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

We are not to step out unless the Lord has commanded it!

This should not stop us from taking small steps if we are learning to hear God's voice and sense His timing. But we should not take major steps based on the presumption that God is obligated to approve, support or reinforce our own man-made plans!

I do not wish to instill mortal fear in the hearts of the hesitant or those who are engaged in their first attempts at hearing and obeying God. We all make mistakes in any attempt to do something well. God will not strike us down simply because we try our best and fail!

On the other hand, we should not rush into major life decisions and chalk them up as "mistakes."

If we take our time and start with small steps, we can be assured that, just as a child falls and rises up to try again, we will have second chances.

The point is that God wants us to live this way! 

If we grow in accurately knowing who God is, learning His thoughts and His ways, learning His voice and His timing, we will find that where He sends us, He has already gone before us!

And where God sends us, His grace will keep us!

If God is telling you to move, then do so! Don't lag behind!

If He is telling you to wait, whether it be a day, a month, a year or more, WAIT FOR HIS TIMING!

Why? Because...


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