At The Lord’s Command

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

[In the last message, I revealed some of the struggles I face with receiving direction and the desire to do something “world-changing” for God. Today I’m reminded that God has indeed invited me to join Him as He changes the world, and that God will always make His way clear when it is time to go.]

When God led Moses and the people of Israel out of Egypt, He had many lessons for them to learn. While on the journey to the promised land, God taught His chosen people about living a life of worship and holiness; but He especially taught about the need for obedience and trust.

Though we often refer to Israel’s forty years in the desert as a time of wandering, their movement was very carefully controlled. God gave directions through a cloud which settled over the tabernacle. The cloud appeared as a normal cloud during the day, and at night “the cloud looked like fire” (Numbers 9:15). The movement of the people was directed by the movement of the cloud.

Numbers 9:22-23
“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the Lord’s command they encamped and at the Lord’s command they set out.”

During those forty years, God taught an entire generation the importance of looking to Him for their daily direction. When they set up camp, they didn’t know how long they would stay; and when they began to move, they didn’t know where they were going or how long they would travel. The importance of the journey was in the lessons of obedience and trust – in learning how to follow God’s leading – not in the actual steps taken along the way.

Today, we are also on a journey to a land of promise, and God still has many lessons for us to learn – lessons of worship, holiness, trust, and obedience. We may not have the benefit of a cloud, but if we listen very carefully we can still “hear” His direction. The same God who directed the Israelites is directing us today, and He longs for us to trust Him and obediently follow.

One of our hardest lessons is to understand that God does not need us to move, nor does He need us to stay. God will accomplish ALL He desires with or without our assistance. But He does invite us to join Him and witness the awesome movement of His hand. He invites us to follow.

Our Father is able to direct our steps much better than we can direct them ourselves (another difficult lesson). We must learn to listen for His leading by drawing near and living in His presence. Then, whether He says to stay or go, we must trust Him with all our heart and obediently move at the Lord’s command.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

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